Optimizing the management of a cascade of reservoirs at the catchment level
Donor / Partner: CGIAR | Duration: 2012-2013 | Location: Vietnam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand
About: 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.
MK3 was implemented by ICEM in partnership with Aalto University, WorldFish Centre, Institute of Technology Cambodia (ITC), National University of Lao PDR (NuOL) and Western highlands Agriculture & Scientific Research Centre (WASI).
Purpose: The principal hypothesis behind this research is that multiple use of the land and water resources surrounding a cascade of dams and reservoirs can be integrated and made compatible with hydropower production. The research shows that the number of different ways of using the water need not be so demanding that hydropower production would be reduced significantly. It makes the […]