In this paper, we assess how resettlement and changes in water access have altered livelihoods of local communities upstream of the Theun Hinboun Expansion Project in Lao PDR. Based on household surveys conducted both before and after resettlement, we estimate changes in water use and benefits among households of 4 resettled villages.
The Mekong is an exceptional river in many ways. In terms of fish biodiversity, it is the world’s second richest river after the Amazon (www.fishbase. org). With 6 to 18% of the global freshwater fish catch, it is also home to the largest freshwater fisheries in the world. The productive Mekong fisheries are essential to the food security of the 60 million people of the Lower Mekong Basin. Fish contributes 81% of the population’s protein intake in Cambodia and 48% in Laos. Mekong inland fisheries also provide employment to 1.6 of the 14 million Cambodians.
Freshwater allocation in an environment of increasing demand and declining quality and availability is a major societal challenge. While biodiversity and the needs of local communities are often in congruence, the over-riding necessity of meeting national demands for power, food and, increasingly, mitigation of the hydrological effects of climate change, often supersedes these.
The Mekong River is home to the largest inland fishery in the world, which is due in part to its exceptional sediment and nutrient loads. The number of dams in the Basin is expected to increase from 16 in the year 2000 to between 77 and 136 by 2030. These dams retain and accumulate sediments and nutrients in their reservoirs; as such, planned dam development is expected to result in a 60% to 96% reduction in sediment flow to downstream Mekong waters.
We compared the effects of water resource development on migratory fish in two North American rivers using a descriptive approach based on four highlevel indicators: (1) trends in abundance of Pacific salmon, (2) reliance on artificial production to maintain fisheries, (3) proportion of adult salmon that are wild- versus hatchery-origin, and (4) number of salmon populations needing federal protection to avoid extinction.
Wind and water power have a significant contribution to make to aquaculture and fish processing. Wind energy can provide mechanical power to operate pumps and aerators and can clso be used to generate electricity. Small-scalehydropower may be used to serve aquaculture in many ways wherever there is sufficient flow and fall of water. Additionally, refrigeration equipment and heat pumps may be driven by both wind and water power. The integration of these systems can serve energy needs in fish farming for processing, ice-making, mechanical power and electricity.
The Mekong River Basin, site of the biggest inland fishery in the world, is undergoing massive hydropower development. Planned dams will block critical fish migration routes between the river's downstream floodplains and upstream tributaries. Here we estimate fish biomass and biodiversity losses in numerous damming scenarios using a simple ecological model of fish migration. Our framework allows detailing trade-offs between dam locations, power production, and impacts on fish resources.
The catch-effort relationship of the River Nile is Complicated by such factors as changes in water level and hydrology as well as spawning movements of the fish, which result in uneven distribution of the fish and fishing. The effects ofdam construction on the ecology of the fish fauna are considered, with particular reference to the effects of the Faraskour dam on the river fishery.
The world's most biodiverse river basins (the Amazon, Congo, and Mekong) are experiencing an unprecedented boom in construction of hydropower dams. These projects address important energy needs, but advocates often overestimate economic benefits and underestimate far-reaching effects on biodiversity and critically important fisheries. Powerful new analytical tools and high-resolution environmental data can clarify trade-offs between engineering and environmental goals and can enable governments and funding institutions to compare alternative sites for dam building.
Since early 2007 there has been a repid acceleration in hydropower development in the Mekong Basin. The consequence of this development on fisheries in the area has been downnplayed. Aim of this chapter Discussion reverts to a 'conventional wisdom' that the captured fisheries are doomed. Fisheries are being downplayed. The aim of this chapter is to place this 'conventional wisdom' of doom under closer critical scrutiny.