Topic- Management to mitigate negative impacts due to hydropower
Water is a natural resource, fundamental to life, livelihood, and food security and sustainable development as well as human dignity and cultural values. It is also a finite resource with spatial and temporal variations. Myanmar is endowed with abundant water resources. The present scenario of water resource and their management in Myanmar has given rise to several concerns. Important one of amongst them is water resource projects such as hydropower development, though multi-disciplinary with multiple stakeholders, are being planned and implemented in a fragmented manner without giving due consideration to optimum utilization, environment sustainability and holistic benefit to the people. It should be planned to the extent feasible as multi-purpose projects with provision of storage to derive maximum benefit from available topology and water resources. Hydropower sub-basins often host multiple projects that are at different stages of development. In any hydropower sub-basin there are a number of stakeholder groups with various roles, responsibilities and interests, (e.g. developers, government agencies, river basin organizations). Sustainable hydropower and water resource development depends on the capacity and performance of each of these key stakeholder groups and their level of collaboration and interaction each other.
There are forty hydroelectric dams in Myanmar which have been completed and 89 hydroelectric dams which have being planned in future. The agency charged with expanding Hydro project is mostly Myanmar Governance. However, there is a problem which is a lack of multi-stakeholders dialogue for sustainable hydropower development by the causes of weakness in ESIA, lack of the following rules and regulations, lack of knowledge by stakeholders, lack of collaboration and engagement of stakeholders and finance. Consequently, it appears a lot of negative impacts such as environmental and social conflicts, livelihood security, socio-economics, unbalance of collaboration and cooperation and benefit sharing. Therefore, it needs to be managed by the state, under public trust doctrine to achieve food security, livelihood, and equitable and sustainable development for all.
This project management study/research intends to mitigate those negative impacts due to hydropower by studying RSAT (Rapid Basin-wide Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Tool) which was developed as part of the ECSHD (Environmental Considerations for Sustainable Hydropower Development) in order to assess hydropower sustainability within an IWRM (Integrated Water Resource Management) based framework. For a case study, Yeywar Dam which is successfully completed and largest hydropower output plant in the country, Myanmar has been chosen.
Yeywa Dam is located on the Myitnge River which is a tributary of Ayeyarwady River, 52 kilometres (32 miles) southeast of Mandalay city, at Yeywa village in Kyaukse Township, Mandalay Division in central Myanmar. It is the country’s first roller-compacted concrete (RCC) dam and the site of a 790-megawatt (1,060,000 hp) hydroelectric power plant. It began construction in 2006 and completed in 2011, is also being financed and constructed by several Chinese companies. Additional financial backing for the project is being provided by the China EXIM Bank.
The project objective is to get better understanding about the social and Environmental Impacts due to Hydropower and to know how to mitigate those negative impacts. Moreover, it intends to study the Basin-Wide Rapid Sustainable hydropower Assessment Tools and to have multi-stakeholders dialogue. To achieve the project objectives will be undertaken by doing environmental social impact assessment by field investigation and reviewing ESIA report, out-reach activities by stakeholder analysis, local community training, multi-stakeholders meeting and recommendation to build and trust from community. Existing Laws and Acts may have to be modified accordingly in as much as it appears to give proprietary rights to a land owner on groundwater under his/her land. Inventory and review of all water related existing laws, acts, and regulations have to be done as a priority issue.
First, as a research question , the current situations of downstream effects by Yeywar Dam will be investigated by data collection, field observation and interviewing with local people and HP office staffs, Forest Department & Some related Department. Then, the roles of multi-stakeholder involvement in implementation of sustainable HPD in Myanmar can be identified by analysising stakeholder, surveying baseline and reviewing project reports and literature. How can more effectively support decision making process with regard to HPD is by meeting with related stakeholders and discussion with concerned local and national government. To know the hydropower sustainability standards and guidelines is by studying and using RSAT and reviewing the existing EIA reports.
The benefits to the satisfactory of multi-stakeholders dialogue will include less conflicts, livelihood security, good transportation and proper cost and benefit sharing. Finally it goes towards sustainable hydropower development by collaboration and interaction with stakeholder, identifying involved stakeholders and sharing the knowledge of the RSAT which is a multi-stakeholder dialogue and assessment tool designed for a rapid and integrative assessment of hydropower development and management issues at a basin wide level.