Mekong at the crossroads: Alternative paths of water development and impact assessment

Marko Keskinen*, Matti Kummu, Mira Käkönen, Olli Varis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The Mekong Region in Southeast Asia is undergoing rapid transitions socially, economically, and environmentally. Water is related to these changes in a very profound manner, and the Mekong River and its tributaries are seeing increasing number of plans for water development, most notably in the form of large-scale hydropower. The impacts of this development vary among regional, national, and local levels and across different timescales, influencing societies, politics, and the environment in a variety of ways. While different impact assessment and water management frameworks - including Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) - have been used by actors at different levels in the basin, they have not been too successful in analyzing and communicating the various development paths and their differing impacts in all their complexity. This chapter discusses the water development pathways in the Mekong Basin, including their potential impacts and the different possibilities to assess them, as of early 2010. It is concluded that the water development and related management practices in the Mekong are at the crossroads methodologically and, even more importantly, politically.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitics and Development in a Transboundary Watershed
Subtitle of host publicationThe Case of the Lower Mekong Basin
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9789400704763
ISBN (Print)9400704755, 9789400704756
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


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