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Home > Basin > Mekong > Improving Mekong Water Allocation (PN67)

Full Project Title: Improving Mekong water resources investment and allocation choices (PN67)


The quality of life in the Mekong region will be improved with wise choices about sharing, developing and managing water to produce food and energy, and to maintain vital ecosystems.

PN67 was a key, collaborative activity of the Mekong Program on Water, Environment and Resilience (M-POWER). The goal of contributing to water allocation policy and practice, which results in a more optimal and equitable use of water by society, was pursued by research across the Mekong Region and active engagement with policymakers. The project team examined the use of a wide range of decision-support tools, in many decision-making arenas. In doing so, they have sought to understand decision contexts and drivers.

Research Highlights

Research highlights

Water allocation practices would benefit from:

  • Multi-Stakeholder Platforms (MSPs) exploring alternative futures, deployed to constructively search for solutions to resolve water allocation disputes; negotiation processes retaining elements of competition and collaboration, realizing complex decisions will never attain a perfect consensus, but would be improved if there is an emphasis on sustainable use, fairness and consensus building;
  • Scenario building, with participation of marginalized peoples’ representatives, being used to improve transparency in water allocation by clarifying and probing actors’ causal assumptions about what drives societal well-being;
  • Environmental flows assessments being used to improve water allocation, by clarifying risks and benefits of different flow regimes on different water users and ecosystems;
  • Prior to making major infrastructure investment, scenario building, flows assessments, multi-stakeholder dialogue and transparent negotiations becoming a part of normal practice;
Project Outcomes

Project outcomes

  • Better understanding of progressive processes and tools which do, or might, influence Mekong Region water allocation decision-makers;
  • Processes and tools refined and more effectively used, in the political arenas of the Mekong Region, to take better account of water allocation options, impacts and actors’ rewards, risks, rights and responsibilities.
  • Better understanding of political drivers.
Publications and Outputs

To view all outputs from project PN67 visit our document repository.

Selected publications and outputs

M-POWER books

  1. Book 1 – Lebel L, Dore J, Rajesh D and Yang Saing Koma (eds) (2007) Democratising Water Governance in the Mekong Region. Mekong Press, Chiang Mai, 283.
  2. Book 2 – Molle F, Foran T and Kakonen M (eds.) (2009) Contested Waterscapes in the Mekong Region: Hydropower, Livelihoods and Governance. Earthscan, London, 426.
  3. Book 3 – Lazarus K, Resurreccion B, Nga Dao and Badenoch N (eds.) (2010) Water Rights and Social Justice in the Mekong Region. Earthscan, London.
  4. Book 4 – Bastakoti RC, Floch P, Kanokwan Manorom, Lu Xing, and Bach Tan Sinh (eds.) (2012 forthcoming) Water governance in Practice: Evidence from Local Studies in the Mekong Region. Strategic Information and Research Development Centre, Selangor, Malaysia.

PN67 working papers

  1. Blake DJH (2010) Nam Songkhram Basin, northeast Thailand: Place and arena study. PN67 Working Paper PN67_2010_11.
  2. Chu Thai Hoanh, Suhardiman S and Le Anh Tuan (2010) Irrigation expansion in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta: Back to the future. PN67 Working Paper PN67_2010_16.
  3. Floch P and Blake DJH (2010) Water transfer planning in northeast Thailand: Rhetoric and practice. PN67 Working Paper PN67_2010_06.
  4. Foran T (2010) Contentious decision making around Pak Mun Dam. PN67 Working Paper PN67_2010_08.
  5. Hall DS and Kanokwan Manorom (2010) Decision making in the Mekong: What role for scientists? PN67 Working Paper PN67_2010_29.
  6. He Jun, Lu Xing and Xu Jianchu (2010) Payments for Environmental Services (PES): An introductory note in the Mekong context. PN67 Working Paper PN67_2010_28.
  7. Kanokwan Manorom (2010) Peoples’ EIA as a new approach for water governance: Case of Hua Na irrigation project in northeast Thailand. PN67 Working Paper PN67_2010_07.
  8. Lebel L and Daniel R (2010) Governing ecosystem services from upland watersheds in Southeast Asia. PN67 Working Paper PN67_2010_18.
  9. Lebel L, Dore J and Garden P (2010) Deliberation, scale and the governance of water resources in the Mekong Region. PN67 Working Paper PN67_2010_22.
  10. Yu Yin and Lazarus K (2010) Improving hydropower development? The case of the Nam Ngum 5 hydropower project in Laos. PN67 Working Paper PN67_2010_09.
Final Report
Project Partners

Project partners


Project Lead

Project lead

Griffin NRM

For more information on Phase 1 outputs please contact Udana Ariyawansa.