Water Grabbing in the Mekong Basin – An Analysis of the Winners and Losers of Thailand’s Hydropower Development in Lao PDR

This paper examines how powerful state and private actors from within Thailand and Lao PDR mobilise power to control the benefits from hydropower while the social and environmental impacts are largely ignored, thereby constituting a form of water grabbing. The analysis shows that the structure and politics of the Thai electricity sector, private-sector profiteering and a strong domestic civil society are driving Thailand’s hydropower investment in neighbouring Laos. Thai investments are enabled by Laos’ weak enforcement of laws, a lack of capacity to regulate development, the existence of corruption and a tightly controlled state. These drivers and enabling factors combine with short-term economic focused regional development to create opportunities for water grabbing. The winners of this water grabbing are the powerful actors who control the benefits, while the losers, local livelihoods and the environment, are negatively impacted.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Advocacy and promotional materials
Language of document
  • English
Topics Hydropower dams
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Thailand
Copyright Yes
Access and use constraints

THIS ARTICLE IS DISTRIBUTED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION-NONCOMMERCIAL-SHAREALIKE LICENSE WHICH PERMITS ANY NON COMMERCIAL USE, DISTRIBUTION, AND REPRODUCTION IN ANY MEDIUM, PROVIDED THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR(S) AND SOURCE ARE CREDITED. SEE HTTP://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY-NC-SA/3.0/LEGALCODE

Version / Edition 1
License Creative Commons Attribution
Contact

Water Alternatives http://www.water-alternatives.org/

Author (individual) Nathanial Matthews
Publisher Water Alternatives
Publication date 2012
Pagination 20
Keywords water grabbing,energy development,political ecology
Date uploaded August 22, 2017, 21:09 (UTC)
Date modified December 20, 2019, 04:14 (UTC)