Environmental impacts of dam development

(Source: Janice Lee/ chns.weebly.com)Dam construction in Southeast Asia is often tainted with controversy due to lax environmental impact assessments and negative socio-ecological consequences. While their widespread development has been justified on the basis for supporting clean energy production, agricultural irrigation and water security, dams have also been associated with degradation of fluvial and coastal systems, deforestation and compromising the quality of life for communities through forced resettlements and disruptions to livelihoods reliant on fisheries. We aim to quantify current and potential environmental impacts of dams on river basins in Southeast Asia, with a focus on Indonesia, one of the most hazard-prone areas in the region. We aim to develop a database on hydropower dams, both existing and under construction, and derive a vulnerability index for river basins affected by dams using as a reference, the Dam Environmental Vulnerability Index (DEVI), which quantifies current and potential impacts of dams in river basins. This work is led by Kai Wan Yuen.

Funding Sources: 

  • Earth Observatory of Singapore

Project Years: