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The Salween River Basin

 

The Salween, the mainland Southeast Asia’s 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.

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