Water quality monitoring vital to development in the Mekong Basin

Siem Riep, Cambodia, 2nd Nov 2005

Water quality monitoring vital to development in the Mekong Basin

Environmental monitoring was a crucial element of responsible and sustainable development within the Mekong River basin, Mekong River Commission Environment Programme Director Dr Wijarn Simachaya told participants at the Environment Annual Technical Meeting, being held in Siem Riep, Cambodia today.

Dr Wijarn said the water quality of the Mekong River was an issue of concern to all countries who share the Mekong River’s water and it was heartening to see that the MRC’s member countries were committed to promoting balanced sustainable development to provide benefits for the current generations whilst preserving the resources and development options for future generations. The work of the MRC Environment Programme was directly contributing to the achievement of this common goal.

He explained that the Water Quality Monitoring Network in the Lower Mekong Basin had operated since 1985 with a total of almost 100 stations taking monthly samples of the river’s water. “The network has now been revised to ensure that it covers the important transboundary and basinwide aspects of water quality,” Dr Wijarn said. “This monitoring is crucial to ensuring the development activities in the basin do not result in unacceptable deterioration of the river’s water quality, jeopardising other uses of the water.”

The meeting heard reports on the results of analysis of the regular monitoring data from the MRC’s four member countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam.

Water quality assessment is one of the major environmental monitoring activities in which the MRC is engaged and which form its overall goal of maintaining the health of the river. The meeting also heard the results of basin-wide bio-assessment techniques which, combined with the water quality data, have provided an overview of the basin’s ecological health, which was presented in the form of a MRC Basin Report Card.

The Environment Programme is also involved in environmental risk assessment, which determines if adverse ecological effects occur or are occurring as a result of human activities. Data, information, assumptions and uncertainties are evaluated and used to help understand and guide environmental management. A social impact monitoring system is also being developed to complement the chemical and ecological monitoring of the Mekong River’s waters.

Finally the meeting heard how environmental flow assessment can demonstrate the link between the people and the river and also ensure the prediction on how the river could change with flow changes and how those changes impact people and their livelihood.


For More Information

Ms Tiffany Hacker, Interim Communication Advisor
Tel: +856 56120695 or +856 21 263 263 Ext. 4703
Email: damian@mrcmekong.org

Mr Khy Lim, Communication Officer
Tel: +856 20 5622 8131
Email: khy@mrcmekong.org

Latest News

Lao-Thai wetland management project ends with new community-based management plans

Government officials and community representatives from Laos’ Xe Bang Hieng and Thailand’s Nam Kam river basins cerebrated today the conclusion of a five-year bilateral wetland management project, which has improved community-based management practices in

Lao PDR Submits Notification on the Pak Lay Hydropower Project to MRC for Prior Consultation

The Mekong River Commission Secretariat has received an official notification from the Lao Government that it will undertake the formal process of prior consultation on its Pak Lay hydropower project in the Pak Lay area in the Lao PDR’s northern province

Media Release: MRC Marks Tree Day with Planting Ceremony to Promote Environmental Sustainability

To celebrate today’s Lao National Tree Planting Day and 5th June World Environment Day, Head of the Mekong River Commission Secretariat and staffers...

Multimedia Project Launched to Increase Awareness on Bilateral Water Cooperation

Fisheries, delta, wetland, lake and river basins management – officials and community members from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam working on transboundary ...

Lao PDR, World Bank Encouraged to Take Stock of MRC’s Strategies and Studies in Drafting Lao National Green Growth Strategy

Both the Lao Government and the World Bank and Global Green Growth Institute are encouraged to consult Mekong River Commission’s strategies and studies, as they are refining a draft National Green Growth Strategy of Lao PDR...

Media Contact

For media inquires, please contact:
Sopheak Meas: sopheak@mrcmekong.org
Le Thi Huong Lien: huonglien@mrcmekong.org or
mrcmedia@mrcmekong.org or view the Contact page here