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The water conflict on the Mekong

Located at the end of the Mekong River basin, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam is currently experiencing the most severe drought and salinity intrusion in 100 years. According to experts, the principal reason is development activities in Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries related to the use of the Mekong River’s water resources, including the operation and construction of mega-dams along the river as well as water diversion for agricultural purposes. Thus far, after months of struggling in a record-breaking drought, millions of farmers in the Mekong Delta have succumbed to exhaustion, due to significant losses of crops, fruits and aquaculture. Part Two of the series examines the impacts of dam construction and other projects on the Mekong Delta.

A Thirsty Mekong Delta

Located at the end of the Mekong River basin, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam is currently experiencing the most severe drought and salinity intrusion in 100 years. According to experts, the principal reason is development activities in Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries related to the use of the Mekong River’s water resources, including the operation and construction of mega-dams along the river as well as water diversion for agricultural purposes. Thus far, after months of struggling in a record-breaking drought, millions of farmers in the Mekong Delta have succumbed to exhaustion, due to significant losses of crops, fruits and aquaculture.

ASEAN’s special role in managing energy decisions

Mekong countries’s chronic shortage of electricity which threatens to stymie economic growth, could be eased by pushing for acceleration of plans by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for a regional power grid. Cross-border electricity swaps are growing as the 10-country bloc moves towards the goal of a single market by the end of 2015. And hydropower is among those plans. However, Damming the Mekong River can causes widespread controversy in South East Asia. Lower Sesan 2 dam on Mekong river in Cambodia is a typical example.

Reporting on Mekong Dams – Science, Policies and Voices from the Ground

On November 10, BRIDGE financed a training workshop entitled Reporting on Mekong Dams – Science, Policies and Voices from the Ground in An Giang Province in the Mekong Delta. It was organized by Pan Nature, a Vietnamese NGO, to brief journalists on the concerns and perspectives of local stakeholders on planned dams on the Mekong River. Thirty journalists from national and provincial newspapers and radio and television agencies in the delta attended, as will as representatives from academia and NGOs from Vietnam and other Mekong countries.
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