Climate Change Impacts On Water Sustainability In The Nam Ngum River Basin Of Laos
Free (open access)
279 - 287
D. Jayasekera, J. J. Kaluarachchi
The Nam Ngum River Basin (NNRB) in Laos has received wide attention from foreign investors due to its high hydropower development potential and low per capita electricity consumption. The NNRB is rapidly developing due to its hydropower generation potentials while water demands will increase for agricultural and domestic purposes due to population increase and land-use changes. Water availability will be affected with the increasing water demand and climate change may worsen the water availability conditions. On a regional scale, climate change impact assessment is crucial for water resource planning, management and decision making. In the first part of this study, reliable estimation of climatic variables is performed under climate change. The second part assesses the changes in water resources regimes and sustainability conditions of agricultural and domestic water user sectors under climate change for the ’do nothing’ option that are critical for strategic planning and to minimize the negative impacts. Third part assesses the long-term climate change trends, water allocation challenges and appropriate adaptation measures to minimize watershed impacts to achieve sustainability and long-term management goals. The major findings of this study show wetter and warmer climates, especially in the latter part of the century, indicating less water availability and sustainability in meeting the water demands for agriculture and domestic use is affected under the ’do nothing’ option.
Laos, Nam Ngum River Basin, climate change