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1 May 2008 Megaprojects and Social and Environmental Changes: The Case of the Thai “Water Grid”
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Abstract
Large-scale development of irrigation has long been an attractive option of postwar development, and the Mekong region has been no exception. Thailand has developed approximately four million hectares of irrigated land, and its northeastern region (Isaan)—both the driest and poorest part of the country—has been the target of many water projects. However, “full development” of its potential has been constrained by the lack of storage sites and the difficulty of diverting water from the Mekong River. Several ambitious projects have been discussed during the last 50 y, all of which have been aimed at “greening Isaan.” In 2003, the Thai administration launched the idea of a national “water grid” that would triple the area of irrigated land in the country. This paper analyzes the emergence of this megaproject, its governance, and its economic and environmental soundness.
François Molle and Philippe Floch "Megaprojects and Social and Environmental Changes: The Case of the Thai “Water Grid”," AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 37(3), (1 May 2008). https://doi.org/10.1579/0044-7447(2008)37[199:MASAEC]2.0.CO;2
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