Salween: Solutions

Some well-planned dam developments for water and energy supply are often justified, but countries should take advantage of the opportunity to consider all options and to only build dams that minimize environmental impacts and maximize social benefits.

Building dams off the mainstream, controlling thermal pollution, and mimicking natural flow patterns (e.g. higher flows during the wet season) can minimize the ecological impact of dams.

WWF Recommends...

In countries where concentrated dam development is taking place, governments should at least implement the guidelines of the World Commission on Dams, and assess the cumulative impacts of the dams.

In addition, efforts should be made to retrofi t old dams to reduce environmental and social impacts while increasing economic benefi ts, such as generating electricity.

In China, WWF is working with national authorities to reduce environmental and social impacts of existing and planned dams while increasing economic benefi ts.

WWF calls for further development of small scale hydropower along the tributaries alone, in combination with the development of tourism.

The Salween basin has summer temperatures and rich biota suitable for tourism and compatible with local labour development within the natural environment.

In addition, it holds the potential for developing the rapids for high-end white water rafting.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required