Mekong

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  • Created on: 18-10-14 12:08
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Mekong
SE Asia's largest river world's 8th largest
Water supply to industrial and recreational uses
6 countries share Mekong and there are conflicts between them
Transportation
Limited not navigable beyond Phnom Penh
Dry season river is low there are reefs and shifting sandbars
When water level rises many rapids of Si Phan Don form an obstacle to shipping
Industrial and economic development
Limited in early 20C accelerated rapidly since
Located in fast-emerging Pacific Rim and governments of China and Vietnam
keen to develop national economies
1st dam at Man Wan China not completed until 1993
1st bridge across lower Mekong built in 1994 between Vientiane in Laos and
Nong Khai in Thailand
Population increasing but economic growth increasing faster
Residential development
Home to 55 million people each year contend with wide-spread flooding
In 2000, over 800 people died and more displaced
Population predicted to rise and place further demands on water supply and
infrastructure
Disposal of raw sewage is a challenge finding its way into the river system
Recreation and leisure
Fastest growing tourist destinations in the world river basin benefiting from
economic growth
Expansion of tourism has conflict with requirements of local residents and
traditional activities e.g. fishing
Region receiving funding from Asian development bank to help conserve natural
environment and implement sustainable development strategies
Energy development
Hydroelectric potential and its tributaries is considerable due to steep relief
and large volumes of water transported and tributaries mostly untapped
5% of lower basins hydroelectric potential of approximately 30000MW been
developed and projects have all been on tributaries
Dams generate valuable electricity, aid irrigation and regulate flooding
Caused irreparable damage to what was until recently most valuable resource
fisheries
Farming and water supply
Hampered by large seasonal floods occur each year
80% of rice production in lower basin depends on water, silt and nutrients
provided by flooding

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Supports very rich fishing grounds
Dams upper affect water flow in lower during dry seasons changing natural
cycle of river
Dams mean less frequent floods affecting farming and fishing
Fishing and water supply
Tributaries yield more fish than any other river system
Annual harvest amounts to about 2 million tonnes or roughly twice the catch
from North Sea
Home to over 1200 different species of fish
Over 1 million people in Cambodia depend on fishing to make a living
In 70% of rural households supplement…read more

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