The Salween River Basin
The Salween, the mainland Southeast Asias longest
undammed river, travels 2,800 kilometers from the Tibetan Plateau
through Yunnan Province of China, the Shan and Kayah States of Burma,
along the Thai-Burma border, and eventually into the Indian Ocean
in the Mon State of Burma.
Over 10 million people from at least 13 different ethnic
groups including Nu, Lisu, Shan, Wa, Kayah, and Arakan rely on the rich
natural resources of the river for their livelihoods.
Since December 2002, the Burmese Military and the Electricity
Generation Authority of Thailand (EGAT) have been discussing the possibility
of constructing two mega dam projects on the Salween. They are the Tasang
Dam in Shan State, and the Upper and Lower Salween Border Dams on the
Thai-Burma Border. The projects are being proposed, yet there has been
no needs assessment undertaken. In addition to the projects planned on
the mainstream Salween in Thailand and Burma, China recently announced
plans to build a cascade of 13 dams on the Nu River (Nujiang), the portion
of the Salween River that flows in China.