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The Impact of Irrigation on Aquatic Wetland Resources - A Case Study of That Luang Marsh, Lao PDR

  • Phoupet Kyophilapong


    (Faculty of Economics and Business Management, National University of Laos)

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    This study assesses the impact of irrigation on That Luang Marsh (TLM) in Vientiane, the capital city of the People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) of Laos. The study finds that the economic benefits provided by the marsh (particularly in terms of the fish it supplies to local people) far outweigh the benefits provided by the extraction of water for irrigation. As extraction of water for irrigation is threatening the ecology of the marsh and its ability to maintain a viable stock of fish, it is clear that the amount of water extracted for irrigation should be reduced. The report recommends that a minimum level for the water in TLM should be set to ensure the conservation of its precious wetland ecosystem. The report finds that, on balance, this would have a positive impact on the livelihoods of local people. This means that the conservation of the marsh makes good economic sense. To help the farmers who would be negatively affected by these measures, the report shows how they could be trained to use irrigation water more effectively, grow alternative crops that require less water than rice, catch fish and collect vegetables.

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    Paper provided by Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA) in its series EEPSEA Research Report with number rr2009031.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2009
    Date of revision: Mar 2009
    Handle: RePEc:eep:report:rr2009031
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    1. Tom Kompas, 2004. "Market reform, productivity and efficiency in Vietnamese rice production," International and Development Economics Working Papers idec04-4, International and Development Economics.
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