Sunday, August 16, 2009

mekong river-Hydro Power works

"A quiet consultation between the US and the four Mekong River ‘downstream countries’(Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam) last month has attracted considerable attention. Here Doanh Nhan Saigon Cuoi Tuan (Saigon Businessmen’s Weekend) analyzes the unusual event.

The Cai Rang floating market on the Mekong River (Can Tho city).

For two reasons, the meeting organized on the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministerial Meeting in late July was special.

One, it was the first dialogue between the ‘downstream countries’ and the US, reportedly at
the initiative of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The five countries met to discuss cooperation on common concerns, including environment, climate change, healthcare, education and infrastructure development.

Two, the meeting was connected to recent events: China is building many dams in the upper Mekong River basin, including the 292m Xiaowan Dam. The Chinese construction program has caused scientists to worry about harmful impacts on the lower reaches of the Mekong River.

According to Yale Global online magazine (US), 18 dams have been built, are being built or are planned along the river’s 4350 kilometer length.

Professor Pham Hong Giang, Chairman of the Vietnam Great Dams and Water Resources Development Association, said that the big hydro-power works on the major stream are being implemented at different phases. The construction of big dams has finished. The remaining projects have their designs completed. The water volume impounded by these hydro-power reservoirs will total around 55 billion cubic meters. The total power-generating capacity of the plants will reach 24 GW.

Throughout history, the world has witnessed many confli"
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