Project Description

Donor / Partner: CGIAR   |    Duration: 2012-2013   |    Location: Vietnam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand

For an in-depth look at the MK3 project, visit its website at Optimising CascadesPlease note: Windows 8 users may experience difficulty viewing the website in Internet Explorer.

While many hydropower projects in the Mekong Basin claim to be multiple purpose dams, the reality is that very few have truly been designed with this in mind. The maximisation of electricity generation determines the design and drives the operation and with it the timing and use of water. This usually leads to missed opportunities to use water in complementary ways to the benefit of both the hydropower company and the communities living around the dam and its reservoir. A series of dams in cascade within a river basin offer other opportunities for land and water management which should be considered, designed for, and managed in such a way as to optimise the multiple use of water as it flows through the cascade. MK3: Optimising Cascades was a three year research program conducted between 2010 and 2013 in two river basins – the Nam Theun/Nam Kading in Lao PDR and the Sesan River in Viet Nam and Cambodia. Both rivers are tributaries of the Mekong.

The following reports were produced as part of MK3: Optimising Cascades:

Basin Profiles

Agriculture and Irrigation

Fisheries and Environment

Hydrology and Flood Control

Institutional Challenges and Conclusions