City, Country: Mekong basin, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam
French partner submitting the project description: French Agency for Development (AFD)
French partners: French Global Environment Facility (FFEM)
Foreign partners: World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
Dates of project: since 2005
A few words on the project…
The project helped produce crucial hydrological data which are a necessity in order to manage rigorously the water resources of this transboundary basin.
Background or General project description
The Mekong Basin, which is shared by China, Burma, Laos and Thailand, feeds 80 million inhabitants through fishing and agriculture. Economic and demographic growth, the resulting increase in energy demand (hydroelectricity) and climate change raise concerns about the impacts on biodiversity, fishing and coastal erosion.
The French Agency for Development (AFD) is a public institution and the main operator for France’s development cooperation system. The French Agency for Development has worked for more than seventy years to combat poverty and foster development in developing countries. They also promote the economic and social vibrancy of France’s overseas departments and territories.
The Mekong-HYCOS (Hydrological Cycle Observation System) project, developed with the support of the World Meteorological Organization, is designed to improve knowledge of the water regime in the lower Mekong Basin and the management of related resources and risks.
The AFD and the FFEM helped to set up a reliable system for collecting and transmitting hydrometeorological data in real time in order to predict the risk of flooding. The dissemination of hydrological information to users and national data treatment and archiving systems has improved.
• 32 stations have been built and 17 have been retrofitted to prevent flood risk.
• A 1.5 million euro grant from the AFD and a one million euro grant from the FFEM were used to fund this project.
Member countries have strengthened their capacities on these issues to ensure the sustainable, long-term use of the network. Better decision-making regarding large-scale hydropower facilities will make it possible to cover the projected demand for electricity while preserving the balance of the river’s ecosystem.
Strengths of project
The Mekong-HYCOS project helps to ensure ownership of hydrological issues and to ensure the sustainable development of the basin and water resources while promoting better cooperation among the countries of the region.