Water management cooperation to flow from Laos, China joint efforts
Laos and China have agreed to further enhance cooperation in the field of water resources through a new Data and Information Centre in conjunction with river basin management plans.
The centre and the River Basin Master Planning Project are set to formulate planning schemes for comprehensive management and protection involving hydropower generation, flood control, water supply, irrigation and water resources protection focusing on the Nam Ou and Nam Theun-Kading river basins.
An agreement on the project was signed in Vientiane by the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Ms Monemany Nhoybouakong, and Deputy Minister of Water Resources of China, Mr Wei Shanzhong.
Under the agreement, the two parties will set up a steering committee responsible for the organisation, coordination and supervision of the project.
Both parties are set to jointly implement the project and share the basic data and results, an official said.
Each party will establish a working group to implement the project under the leadership of the steering committee.
Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony, Ms Monemany said the Data and Information Centre and River Basin Master Planning Project will focus on delivering the benefits of water safely for the country, local communities and all water users.
The centre will provide timely data for the implementation of benefits of recent engineering works including by integrating the development, utilisation and protection of water resources, Ms Monemany said.
It would see the construction of a central monitoring station at the centre and the establishment of an automatic data collection and transmission system for Nam Ou and Nam Theun-Kading, including hydrological monitoring stations.
She said project activities would be implemented in accordance with the conditions found in Laos and with the benefit of application of China's high technical standards.
Communication and coordination between the two sides should be strengthened to resolve any issues during the course of the projects, she added.
During the first stage, the Chinese side will support the establishment of 25 hydrological automatic monitoring stations.
In the second stage, both sides will continue to discuss, propose ideas and apply for funding support from both the Chinese and Lao governments for a further 26 stations.
The project is expected to help Laos to better understand and manage water resources and tackle issues that arise in the Nam Ou and Nam Theun-Kading basins through the master planning report process.
The project will also develop an operational manual for equipment for the Data and Information Centre and provide professional training for Lao technicians.
The two sides are also set to cooperate in terms of procurement and customs clearance for equipment sourced outside Laos.
By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update April 3, 2017)