Laos may need incentive to stop building Mekong dam

South China Morning Post
By David Fullbrook
January 28, 2013

Doing business in agriculture or fisheries in the Mekong Delta is not looking like such a good long-term bet these days. For now, the Mekong’s waters, rich in nutrients, rise and fall as they have for thousands of years, and the yield is good. Those days, however, are coming to an end.

Laos is building the Xayaburi hydroelectric dam to block the Mekong, despite promising its neighbours that share the river it would not. The dam will irreversibly change the nature of the river already under stress from several dams upstream in Yunnan. Cambodia and Vietnam, which lie downstream, pleaded for delay, to no avail, at a recent meeting of the Mekong River Commission, a think tank in all but name.

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