The MRC Member Countries have developed a set of pioneering procedures for the management of the shared water resources of the Mekong River. The five procedures, which take a cooperative rather than a regulatory approach to water management, demonstrate the Member Countries’ commitment to working together.
The procedures cover the following areas:
- Data and information sharing: Procedures for Data and Information Exchange and Sharing (PDIES), approved in 2001. It establishes a framework for the MRC Member Countries to share and exchange data on water resources, topography, agriculture, navigation, flood management and ecology, among others. The aim is to enhance joint management of the shared water and related natural resources in the region.
- Consultation on infrastructure projects: Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA), approved in 2003. Prior consultation is a process for the MRC Member Countries to discuss and evaluate benefits and risks of any proposed water-use project which may have significant impacts on the Mekong River mainstream’s flow regimes, water quality and other environmental and socio-economic conditions. Any Member Country that intends to implement a project is required to notify the other countries and provide them with available data and information. The process enables the other countries to assess possible impacts on their territories and comment on the proposed water use.
- Water use monitoring: Procedures for Water Use Monitoring (PWUM), approved in 2003. It provides a comprehensive framework to support effective monitoring of water use and diversion. It specifically addresses the need to strengthen or establish the monitoring system and report any use of water which may have a significant impact to the water quality or flow regimes of the Mekong mainstream by any Member Country.
- Maintenance of flows: Procedures for Maintenance of Flows on the Mainstream (PMFM), approved in 2006. The intent of the PMFM is to cooperate on the maintenance of a mutually acceptable hydrological flow regime on the mainstream to optimise the multiple uses and mutual benefits of all riparian countries and to minimise the harmful effects.
- Water quality: Procedures for Water Quality (PWQ), approved in 2011. It establishes a cooperative framework in order to maintain good/acceptable water quality to promote the sustainable development of the Mekong River Basin. The PWQ protects riverine communities and the Mekong's aquatic life from transboundary water pollution by supporting continual river quality monitoring and emergency response preparedness.
For more information on the five Procedures, visit the MRC Data Portal.