The standing office of the Vietnam National Mekong Committee held a consultation seminar in Hanoi on a study of impacts of hydropower plants on the Mekong River’s mainstream in Hanoi on November 26.

The study, conducted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), examined overall environmental, economic and social impacts of the construction and operation of hydropower projects on floodplain in the lower Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia, said MONRE Deputy Minister Nguyen Thai Lai.

The 30-month study surveyed more than 5 million ha of floodplain and 930,000ha of delta in Cambodia and nearly 4 million ha of delta in Vietnam. It pointed out direct and indirect impacts of power plants on the economic and social situations in the lower Mekong and their causes.

Officials, scientists and experts at the seminar said the study has included relatively adequate data on hydro-meteorological, natural, waterway and socio-economic features of the basin, and provided quantitative evaluations of power plants’ impacts.

It is considered as an important source of data for members of the Mekong River Commission to refer and cooperate towards the sustainable development of water and relating resources.

The commission said by 2013, there were at least 77 hydropower projects planned on Mekong River's tributaries and 11 mainstream hydropower projects/dams planned in the Lower Mekong Basin, which is home to more than 60 million people.-VNA