Glossary(05 Jan 2018)



Top of Page
Acceptable minimum monthly natural flow: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and ProceduresThe acceptable minimum monthly natural flow during each month of the dry season test. 

 Acceptable natural reverse flow: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and ProceduresThe wet season flow level in the Mekong River at Kratie that allows the reverse flow of the Tonle Sap to an agreed upon optimum level of the Great Lake.

Agreement under Article 5: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and Procedures) A decision of the Joint Committee resulting from prior consultation and evaluation on any proposed use for inter-basin diversions during the wet season from the mainstream as well as for intrabasin use or inter-basin diversions of these waters during the dry season. The objective of this agreement is to achieve an optimum use and prevention of waste of the waters through a dynamic and practical consensus in conformity with the Rules for Water Utilisation and Inter-Basin Diversions set forth in Article 26. 

Annual -flood peak series(Refer to 6th Annual Mekong Flood Forum 27-28 May 2008, Phnom Penh) The tabulation or graph in order of decreasing magnitude of the maximum peak floods of each year.

Annual Recurrence Interval (ARI) - The average annual rate of occurrence of an event; it is equal to the 1/exceedance probability.

Annual daily peak flow - The largest daily flow recorded in a year (m3/s).

Average annual flood: (Refer to 6th Annual Mekong Flood Forum 27-28 May 2008, Phnom Penh) The mean of the annual floods over a number of years. The smallest of the annual floods during the period of record is called the 'minimum annual flood'.

Average daily peak flows - Peak value of the daily discharge data, which are average values over 24 hours.

Arbitration - Process of resolving a dispute in which the parties present their cases to a neutral third party (an arbitrator), who then makes a decision for them within a clearly prescribed set of rules in order to resolve the conflict. If the parties are bound to accept the decision on the arbitrator, then this is referred to as binding arbitration.

Adjudication - Process of resolving a dispute in a court of law or by a similar entity with ultimate authority.

Adversarial approach - Approach to conflict in which parties view each other as an opponent to be defeated.

Arbitrator - A neutral person skilled in the use of dispute resolution that listens to the different sides of an issue and makes a decision for the parties.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) - General term for processes that resolve conflicts between parties by a means other than an adversarial or judicial process.

Agreement - A situation in which all parties have reached the same conclusion, accepted the same terms, and/or consented to a decision.It may also refer to the paper or document signed by all parties to demonstrate this situation.



Top of Page
Basin Development Plan: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and ProceduresThe general planning tool and process that the Joint Committee would use as a blueprint to identify, categorise andprioritise the projects and programmes to seek assistance for and to implement the plan at the basin level.
Basin wide baseline data - referstodatacollectedatscientificallselectedlocationsnthebasinforthepurposeofunderstandingthebasin wide natural,socio-economicandphysicalsystemsandinteractionsandtoenablethemeasurementofchangeinthebasinasareult of hydropower.

Biodiversity off sets – actions taken to address a loss of biodiversity as a result of a project or intervention. For example, gazetting a protected area of forest to offset the loss of equivalent forest that has been inundated by a hydropower reservoir

Biomass removal – the removal of vegetation from a reservoir to address water quality risks and reduce reservoir emissions as a result of vegetation inundation and decay


Top of Page


Catastrophic flood: (Refer to 6th Annual Mekong Flood Forum 27-28 May 2008, Phnom Penh) A flood due to meteorological conditions of exceptional rarity, and due either to catastrophic rainfall spread over a period considerably longer than the time of concentration for the area, or to violent rain of the cloud burst type.

Catch - mean the total weight in tons or kilos of fish caught or harvested from natural water bodies (rivers, lake or reservoirs, …). 
Concerned Member Countries - mean either the Country of Origin or the Potentially Affected Country(ies) or both. 

Conflict - A condition in which two or more Differences can arise over values, interests, policies, strategies, economic purpose, etc. While parties often hold different goals and interests, most of the time, this does not present a problem. However, occasionally, parties clash when they pursue their own goals and interests. When they reach this point of incompatibility or non-reconciliation, we describe it as a dispute or conflict. parties have or perceive that they have incompatible interests, ideas, or positions. Conflicts can occur on many levels. Sources of conflict may include values and beliefs, facts and data, procedures, goals, relationships,andbehavior. Creating common understanding about the cause and nature of conflict is an important first step in its resolution

Conflict avoidance -  Actions parties take to delay or evade conflict. Or when parties intentionally do not take any action to address or discuss the conflict. Avoidance usually results in key issues being ignored or delayed until they become much more difficult to address.

It may also lead to the escalation of a conflict. By not addressing each other directly, parties often proceed based on incorrect or wrong assumptions about each other’s interests and motivations. Example: Two parties disagree on a proposal but refuse to meet with each
other while using other channels to fight
for their positions.

Confidence interval - Arangeofvaluescentred on the sample estimate that is known to contain the true value with a given degree of confidence.

Conflict/dispute prevention - Specific actions undertaken by one or more parties to identify and preempt the likely presence or escalation of a conflict or dispute. Stakeholdersdonothavetoplayanofficialroleorhavestanding to be engaged in conflict prevention activities.

Prevention techniques seek to engage stakeholders early and continuously in the decision processes and often focus on relationship-building, information sharing, and dialogue among the parties. Example: Hotspots identification, information sharing, joint fact finding,
stakeholderconsultation, and public participation are all tools for prevention.

Conflict/dispute management - Approaching a conflict in a deliberate, fair,and efficient manner that prevents it from

escalating.Conflict management techniques are generally used once a conflict has emerged, but before positions are hardened and parties are still seeking to work together. Improving information,communication, and relationships are all
tools used in conflict management.Example: Parties approaching a difficult decision regarding seasonal variations in the use of fisheries decided to hold weekly meetings for a period of one

Conflict/dispute resolution - ct/dispute resolution -Process designed to resolve issues that have resulted in conflicts or disputes by addressing deep-rooted and underlying causes.

Consent – refers to a collective expression by the affected Indigenous Peoples communities, through individuals and/or their recognized representatives, of broad community support for the project activities that affect them. Such broad community support may exist even if some individuals or groups object to the project activities. Otherdefinitionsofconsentrefertoaneedforsignedagreementswithcommunityauthorised leaders or representatives of communities

Construction stage - During the construction stage, infrastructure safety issues include quality control processes to ensure infrastructure is constructed to design standards, flooding risks associated with temporary diversion and storage structures;construction related safety issues and the establishment of a monitoring baseline

Controlled flooding: (Refer to 6th Annual Mekong Flood Forum 27-28 May 2008, Phnom Penh) Unlike in free flooding, water is diverted to levelled lands and in a sequential manner in such a way as to deliver everywhere the desired dose: it includes flooding from ditches, border irrigation and corrugation irrigation.

Critical habitat - includes areas with high biodiversity value, including habitat required for the survival of critically endangered or endangered species;areashavingspecialsignificanceforendemicorrestrictedrange species; sites that are critical for the survival of migratory species;areassupportinggloballysignificantconcentrationsornumbersofindividualsofcongregatory species; areas with unique assemblages of species or which are associated with key evolutionary processes or provide key ecosystem services

Country of Origin - means the Member Country under whose jurisdiction a proposed project/activity is intended to take place.



Top of Page

Dam (Infrastructure) Safety Management System - Hydropower developers and operators should have a systematic approach to infrastructure safety issues that meets required standards and includes associated infrastructure (e.g. power stations, transmission lines, roads, reservoirs). This is usually called a Dam (Infrastructure) Safety Management System and should be in place for all stages of development and include: (i) an emergency preparedness plan, (ii) construction supervision, instrument and quality assurance plans during construction, (iii) an operation and maintenance plan and safety monitoring and risk management system (iv) independent expert review, (v) dam break analysis for cascades and (vi) consideration of downstream safety risks such as drowning risks and property damage
Data - (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and ProceduresRepresentations of facts, expressed as measurements or statistics, suitable for communication, interpretation or processing.

Data and information exchange: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and Proceduresreciprocal transfer of data and information among the member countries.

Data and information sharing: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and Proceduresprovision of full access to data and information maintained in the MRC-IS to the member countries through MRCS.

Data processing tools- Software or interconnected suites of software to which the MRC
holds propriety rights.
Decision Support Framework (DSF) - Mekong Basin Modelling and Knowledge Base, which comprises a suite of three integrated models representing at basin-scale, the surface water resource system of the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB), underpinned by a knowledge base of input and output data, and a range of analytical and reporting tools to facilitate assessment of potential flow changes on environmental and social conditions.

Design and operational flood and drought response measures – examples include maintenance of reservoir flood storage capacity, mechanisms to alter hydropower generation to respond to flood control needs

Design and operational provisions for fish management – includes fish passage structures; co-ordinated operations of cascades of dams; reregulation of reservoirs; and flexibility to modify dam operations in the future; reservoir fisheries and environmental releases to support habitat requirements

Design flood: (Refer to 6th Annual Mekong Flood Forum 27-28 May 2008, Phnom Penh) 1. The nHximum flood that any structure can safely pass. 2. The flood adopted to control the design of a structure. 3 - The flood against which a given area is to be protected.

Design mitigation measures – examples include multi-level off takes, fish passage structures, navigation locks, sluice gates, reservoir design and full supply level, reregulation ponds,fish friendly turbines, reservoir flood storage capacity, reservoir and river bank protection measures in project design, oxygenation plants, transmission line and road route selection

Design stage - In the asset design,adherencewith safety standards and the expertise used in the design team to address various safety issues is an important consideration.Specialistsshouldinclude: engineering geologists, seismic experts, civil engineers, dam safety specialists, mechanical and electrical engineers and the use of independent expert review. The design stage should include identification of all potential failure points in the dam, power station and associated infrastructure and identify design and operational strategies to manage risks. There should be consideration of risks associated with other projects in a cascade and other events in the basin such as flood events

Differences - Points of disagreement, argument, distinction, or divergence of opinion.

Dispute -Disagreements that take place between parties in conflict. Adisputeisthemanifestation, in words or actions, of unresolved conflict.

Disaggregated social data -data that is separated by social sub-groupings for example, sex, age, ethnicity, income, education levels etc. Disaggregated data enables analysis of how certain interventions will affect certain sub-groups (e.g. men and women) differently.

Dispute - Disagreements that take place between parties in conflict. Adisputeisthe manifestation, in words or actions, of unresolved conflict. The word “dispute” is often used interchangeably with the word “conflict”. However, it is more appropriately viewed as the product of conflict (such as disagreement, argument, or debate), when competing interests damage relationships, or escalate to rights-based or power-based resolutions.

Document - A piece of written, printed, or electronic matter that provides data and/or information
and/or knowledge.


Dry season months - Six calendar months from December to May (pendingissuerelatingtoimplementation of Article 6A of the 1995 Mekong Agreement).


Top of Page

Economic analysis - is used to determine the costs and benefits of a project, policy or plan. CBA is usually a quantitative method that applies a monetary value to all project’s costs and benefits. A project is assessed as economically viable if the benefits exceed its costs

Ecosystem connectivity – The interconnection of different habitats to allow species movement. This includes creating and managing habitat corridors and buffers, as well as preventing further fragmentation of habitats by development and other land-uses

Ecosystem integrity -is defined as the long term ability of an ecosystem to self-support and maintain an adaptive community of organisms having a species composition, diversity, and functional organization favourably comparable to that of nearby natural habitats

Electricity dispatch systems – the system in place for dispatch of electricity from the hydropower station,whichmaybeacentrallycontrolledintegrateddispatchcentreformultipleprojectsorasingleofftakerarrangement

Emergency Plan - An Emergency Plan should include; public safety signage, exclusion zones, dam release notification and warning systems, community awareness, emergency preparedness, flood management, monitoring, inspections, training, incident response, communication, and allocation of responsibilities.

Energy Options– examples include energy efficiency measures, increased efficiency in existing generation facilities, different types of energy such as thermal power or wind, no energy development, transmission and distribution options

Energy options assessment criteria – optimize resource use efficiency; energy payback ration; provision of ancillary services; optimize transmission efficiency; economic viability; minimize carbon intensity and greenhouse gas emission; reduce social and environmental costs

Energy services – examples include provision of electricity to domestic or export markets; provision of grid stability; provision of peak load; provision of ancillary benefits such as spinning reserve,systemregulationand improved efficiency

Environment: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and ProceduresThe conditions of water and land resources, air, flora, and fauna that exists in a particular region.

Environmental flow - Environmental flow is the amount of water needed in a river to maintain healthy ecosystems.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) - means a national procedure for assessing the likely impacts on biophysical, social and economic aspects of a proposed project/activity.

Environmental hotspot - areas featuring exceptional concentrations of endemic species or biodiversity or providing key ecosystem services and are under threat from human activity. This may include critical habitats for threatened species, areas of key importance for maintaining livelihoods, wetland ecosystems

Environmental indicator – Anenvironmentalindicatorisaparameter, or a value derived from parameters, that points to, provides information about and/or describes the state of the environment, and has a significance extending beyond that directly associated with any given parametric value. The term may encompass indicators of environmental pressures,conditionsand responses.

Escalation -  Increased intensity of conflict Both avoidance and lack of cooperation can lead to escalation through misunderstanding, hard feelings, and hardening of positions.

Examples of consumptive water uses – irrigation, urban water supply, rural water supply, industrial uses, livestock

Examples of evidence – national legislation, policy and regulations; RBO governance framework; budgets and resourcing plans for line agenciesandRBOs; Transboundary procedures, e.g. data sharing, notification; evidence of meetings; hydropower plans, SEA reports, monitoring and auditing reports; compliance reports; hydropower monitoring reports and CSR policy; hydropower agreements (PDAs and PPAs) and MOUs; national policies relevant to hydropower; capacity building plans for line agencies andRBOs

Examples of non-consumptive water uses – fishing and aquaculture, tourism and recreation, flood control, ecosystem maintenance, cultural and spiritual, navigation


Top of Page
Facilitation - Theprocessandneutralassistanceusedtohelpagroupofpeopleorpartieshaveconstructivediscussionsaboutcomplex, or potentially controversial issues. It does not always involve a preexisting conflict and does not always need to lead to a decision or agreement.A neutral third party designs and implements a process of cooperation. In facilitation, the facilitator designs and manages the process, but has no influence or opinion regarding the outcome. The group owns the outcome.

Facilitator - A trained specialist who helps people design effective meetings and problem-solving sessions, and then acts as the meeting leader on behalf of the group. Facilitators may be engaged before parties are in any defined conflict. Facilitators generally limit themselves to the design and management of the process. Facilitatorsareinchargeoftheprocess, but are not in charge of the group.

Flow duration curve - The flow duration curve is a plot of flows ranked from highest to lowest.Thex axis is %oftimeequalledorexceededandtheyaxisis flows (m3/s).

Flow frameworks - Established thresholds for flows at each of the selected hydrological stations defining flow conditions at those stations, which are considered acceptable by the MRC Member Countries in relation to Article 6 of the 1995 Mekong Agreement, and/or which cause certain actions to be taken if transgressed.

Food security - at the individual, household, national, regional and global levels [is achieved] when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life



Top of Page

Good Faith Engagement –engagementthatisundertakenwithanhonestintenttoreachamutuallysatisfactoryunderstandingon the issues of concern

Good offices - Help or support or a neutral setting that is provided by outside individuals or organizations in helping to resolve a dispute. The United Nations is an example of Good Offices. Since the United Nations is widely believed to be fair, impartial, and committed to peace, it often has the prestige needed to successfully intervene in situations where others would not be accepted. Good offices can sometimes refer to a neutral, safe physical space provided by outside parties to host discussions.


Top of Page

Habitat fragmentation – in the context of hydropower refers to the barrier effect of dams on migratory species and sediment transport, or terrestrial habitat fragmentation caused by roads or transmission lines

Habitat modification – refers to changes in fish habitat, examples include conversion of a stretch of river from a river channel to a reservoir, changes in deep pools and rapids; changes in food chain species, changes in flow and availability of nutrients

High value tributaries  - are those that if left undeveloped and in a close to natural state will make a significant contribution to the overall ecosystem integrity and biodiversity of the river basin which may offset the loss of

some tributaries to development
Hydrometeorological Data: (Refer to Guidelines on Implementation of the Procedures for Data and Information Exchange and Sharing Data) obtained by the measurement or observation of  
- Water level 

- Discharge

- Flow velocity

-Related hydrological and meteorological parameters

Hydrometeorological facility: (Refer to Guidelines For Management of The Mekong River Commission Hydrometeorological Network) Any physical structure, set of equipment, computer system and other relevant systems used to obtain, update and exchange hydrometeorological data.

Hydrometeorological Network: (Refer to Guidelines For Management of The Mekong River Commission Hydrometeorological Network) In-situ hydrometeorological facilit ies, hydrometeorological sites, technical support systems, management support systems and personnel being concerned with obtaining, updating and exchanging hydrometeorological data.

Hydrometeorological Site: (Refer to Guidelines For Management of The Mekong River Commission Hydrometeorological Network) Any location from which hydrometeorological data is obtained.

Hydropower planning studies – include options assessment, basin hydropower master plans,rankingandoptimisation studies, feasibility studies,costbenefitanalysisandprojectfinancialviabilitymodels

Hydropower project options assessment criteria – siting on tributaries instead of mainstream, multiple projects on one tributary as opposed to single projects on multiple tributaries, minimise the area flooded per unit of energy produced, prioritise alternatives that do not pose threat to vulnerable social groups; maximise multiple use opportunities, prioritise options that minimise population displacement; prioritise options that maintain connectivity in the basin for migrating species and sediment; avoid sites downstream of major sediment production zones; avoid impact to exceptional cultural heritage; avoid impact to threatened species and critical habitats

Historically severe drought and/or flood - Daily flows exceed the 1:20 Annual Recurrence Interval of historically observed data at any selected station.



Top of Page

Indirect costs and benefits – examples include creation of new industries,employmentand trade as a result of new roads and infrastructure, economic displacement after a time period as a result of changes to water availability, loss of community harmony or stability

Information: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and Proceduresdata interpreted, processed and refined, and then displayed by the competent authorities having ownership or possession thereof, which is required for exchange and sharing for the purpose of the implementation of the Mekong Agreement.

Institutional capacity – in the context of hydropower and IWRMrelatestothefunctionsandcapacity of the various institutions formed at different levels from transboundary to local. It includes the effectiveness of the regulatory and planning frameworks in delivering sustainable water and energy development outcomes in a predictable, responsible, equitable and timely way. Examples include –crosssectoralco-ordination, clear allocation of roles and responsibilities, adequate human and financial resources in government agencies, monitoring and evaluation processes in the planning cycle

Integrated - merged, interspersed and embedded into something.

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM– a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems.

Interim MOU: (Refer to Guidelines For Management of The Mekong River Commission Hydrometeorological Network) MOU that is used to address the immediate needs until the long term financial and implementation plans is designed and implemented.

Inter-reservoir operating rules –rules established for coordinated operations and water management between reservoirs in a cascade

Inter-Basin Water Diversion: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and ProceduresThe diversion of water from the mainstream or a tributary of the Mekong river system into another basin.

Involuntary resettlement plan – as a minimum,are-settlement plan or agreement should include: project description; scope of land acquisition and re-settlement; alternatives considered;socio-economic information and profile of affected communities; information disclosure,consultationand participation; grievance re-dress mechanisms; legal framework; entitlements, assistance and benefits; relocation of housing and settlements; income restoration and rehabilitation; re-settlement budget and financing plan; institutional arrangements;

implementation schedule; and monitoring and reporting of outcomes 


Top of Page
Emission Scenario - Emission Scenariosaretheprojectedfutureconcentrationatatmosphericgreen house gasses or aerosols,specificwith both changing spatial and temporal concentrations. They are typically derived from a separate analysis of likely economic and social development


Top of Page
Knowledge - Awareness and understanding of a subject gained through the collation,organisationand analysis of information, experience, study and consultation with other individuals.Knowledge within the MRC may be held in policies, strategies, plans, guidelines, procedures,reports and other publications (hard copy and electronic), decision support tools, or within individual people.


Top of Page
Line agencies - Agenciesatnational or sub-nationallevelwhichcarryoutpoliciesandprovide services.

Livelihood- refers to the capabilities, assets (stores, resources,claimsand access)andactivities required for a means of living.


Master catalogue  – MRC centralized database and gateway for data queries, sharing and downloadit contained all types of available quality assured dataset, it is publicly available through online with list of data category/glossary.

Mainstreamof the Mekong River: 

The river flowing through six countries, namely China, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Viet Nam to the sea via My Thuan and My Tho in Viet Nam.

Meaningful consultation – is a process that (i) begins early in the project cycle; (ii) provides timely disclosure of relevant and adequate information that is understandable and readily accessible to affected people; (iii) is undertaken in an atmosphere free of intimidation or coercion; (iv) is gender inclusive and responsive, tailored to the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups; and (v) enables the incorporation of all relevant views of affected people and other stakeholders into decision making such as project design, mitigation measures, the sharing of development opportunities and benefits, and implementation issues. Particular attention will be paid to the needs of disadvantaged or vulnerable groups, especially those below the poverty line, the landless, the elderly, female headed households, women and children, Indigenous Peoples and those without legal title to land.(ADB 2009).

Member Country(ies) - means the signatory country(ies) to the 1995 Mekong Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin.



Top of Page


Mechanisms for cross border cooperation - examples include RBO, committees, transboundary agreements, agreed procedures for notification and consultation

Mediation - Process of resolving a dispute in which the parties work with a third party (a mediator), who helps to improve their communication and their analysis of the conflict, and assists them in crafting a solution that meets the interests or needs of all of the disputants.In mediation, the parties:

• use the services of a third party to design and manage the process;
• are assisted by a third party to develop and recommend solutions; and
•areonlyboundbyvoluntary agreement.

Mediator - Aneutralpersonskilledintheuseofdisputeresolutiontechniqueswhoassists parties involved in a dispute or conflict. The parties may simply have reached an impasse to find common ground or compromise.

Mediators serve to help parties craft appropriate solutions, often recommending specific solutions, but have no power to render a decision. A mediator is engaged after parties are in conflict. Some distinctions between facilitator and mediator:

• The venue is different. Facilitators manage processes for a wide range of meetings, workshops, or collaborative problem-solving sessions. Mediators lead negotiations.

• Facilitators may come from one of the participating organizations, so long as all parties are comfortable that he or she is neutral on the issue. A mediator rarely has an ongoing relationship with any of the parties.

• Facilitation is useful even if the parties are not well defined. In a public meeting, for example, people decide for

themselves whether to attend.Inmediationthereare designated representatives of the various parties.

• Infacilitationthe issues may also be less well defined. The outcome of a facilitated session may simply include sharing of feelings, team building, identifying options,orreachingagreement. The outcome of mediation is a decision by the parties. Both facilitation and mediation are valuable forms of assistance. They simply represent different levels of formality and structure in the kind of assistance that is given.

Mekong Spirit - is a combination of very a combination of collective courage, statesmanship,perseveranceand goodwill among the participating Mekong states, reflecting their collective desire for mutual understanding and accommodation to achieve a shared vision and goal for the Mekong.

Mekong Tributary: A natural stream of the Mekong River System. For the purposes of the present Procedures, a tributary as decided by the JC is a natural stream of the Mekong River System whose flows have a significant impact on the mainstream. This definition is subject to be reviewed and agreed upon after some time of implementation if any concern is raised.

Moderator - A person who presides over an assembly or meeting, especially a legislative body. Moderators are not actively involved in the design or implementation of decision processes, but can often set the tone and expectations of a meeting. A moderator is often a senior official, a well-known or respected individual, or someone of Rank

Member Country(ies) - means the signatory country(ies) to the 1995 Mekong Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin.

Monthly flow -The sum of the daily flows in a month divided by the number of days in the month (m3/s). Identical to average flow for the month.

Moving averag - A method to smooth variations. The average is calculated, for example, over five years. For each year after this, the earliest value is dropped from the calculation and the most recent one is added in, again to make an average over five years;forexample: 1988-93, 1989-94, and 1990-95. Also called running average.

Multiple use – refers to a hydropower project that is designed and operated for other uses in addition to hydropower and may include; irrigation storage, navigation; flood control; flow regulation; reservoir fisheries, recreation.



Top of Page
Natural flows - The term natural flows as used in Article 6 indeed means current flows under existing uses up to year 2000.

Negotiation - Process where parties work directly with each other, often but not necessarily with the help of a third party (a facilitator or mediator), to exchange ideas, views, promises, and problems surrounding a conflict or dispute. In this voluntary process, the parties seek to develop mutually acceptable solutions that meet as many of the disputants’ interests as possible. If the services of a third party are used, it is called assisted negotiation.

negotiation, the parties.

• may or may not use the services of a third party to design and manage the process;

• develop their own solutions; and


Examples: Negotiation occurs between people all the time--between parents and children, between husbands and wives, between workers and employers, between nations. It can be relatively cooperative, as it is when both sides seek a solution that is mutually beneficial (commonly called win-win or cooperative bargaining), or it can be confrontational (commonlycalledwinloseoradversarial)bargaining,wheneachsideseekstoprevailovertheOther

Negotiator - A person who has been given authority to negotiate on behalf of an organization or agency. Negotiators are representatives and are not neutral. Negotiators are generally working to maximize the positions of the parties they represent. Negotiatorsmayworkunassistedintryingtoreachagreement with each other or can work with a third party.

Notification(Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and ProceduresTimely providing information by a riparian to the Joint Committee on its proposed use of water according to the format,contentand procedures set forth in the Rules for Water Utilisation and Inter-Basin Diversions under Article 26.


Top of Page
Operational mitigation measures –examplesincluderamp down rates, reservoir operating levels, water releases for sediment flushing, sediment dredging, environmental flow release, downstream warning and notification systems
Operation stage - Duringtheoperationstage the focus will be on the systematic and routine monitoring and surveillance of infrastructure to ensure it achieves safety objectives, as well as the emergency response processes that are in place. An important consideration is a systematic approach to risk management and response to issues that are identified. Public safety measures around infrastructure such as barriers and signage are also an important consideration

Options assessment – Energy options assessment is a process to assess options and alternatives to hydropower in the energy mix to meet the energy demand, need for ancillary services or to earn export revenue in basins where electricity is exported. Project options assessment is a process to assess options and alternatives to different project sites and designs


Top of Page
Performance targets for asset condition – refers to meeting performance targets set in project agreements for the condition of assets at the end of a concession period; compliance with asset management commitments and operation and maintenance schedules


Performance targets for water management - includes compliance with reservoir level agreements, minimum flow releases, ramp down rates, minimum operating levels

PES Scheme- payment for ecological services (PES) is a scheme whereby a group or individual dependent on a natural resource for its livelihood will pay another individual or group a sum of money to prevent damage to that natural resource. For example, a downstream community dependent on drinking water from a river paying upstream farmers not to use chemical fertilizers that would pollute the water

PNCPA Procedure - Mekong River Commission [MRC] “Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement”) means the prior consultation process, in which the countries will jointly review any development project proposed for the mainstream, with an aim to reach a consensus on whether or not it should proceed, and if so, under what conditions. Prior consultation is neither a right to veto the use nor a unilateral right to use water by any riparian without taking into consideration other riparian’s rights.

Policy and planning approaches to maximise local level benefits – examples include procurement policies to favour local employment and use of local products and services during project construction; local training and capacity building programs; strategies to maximise local infrastructure development e.g. roads, bridges; policies to improve provision of social services in affected areas, e.g. schools, clinics

Policy and regulations for environmental protection – examples include threatened species and protected area legislation, EIA legislation, threshold limits set and enforced.

Potentially Affected Country(ies) - means the Member Country(ies) likely to be affected by potential transboundary environmental impact of a proposed project/activity.

Prior consultation: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and ProceduresTimely notification plus additional data and information to the Joint Committee as provided in the Rules for Water Utilisation and Inter-Basin Diversion under Article 26, that would allow the other member riparians to discuss and evaluate the impact of the proposed use upon their uses of water and any other affects, which is the basis for arriving at an agreement. Prior consultation is neither a right to veto the use nor unilateral right to use water by any riparian without taking into account other riparians’ rights.
Probability of exceedance - The statistical probability that an event will be exceeded, e.g. a 99 % probability of exceedance of daily flow means that the flow will exceed this value 99 of 100 days (on average).

Procedures for transboundary water management – examples from the Mekong region include Prior Notification and Prior Consultation Agreement (PNPCA), Procedures for Water Quality (PWQ), Procedures for Maintenance of Flow on the Mainstream (PMFM)

Processes that control erosion, sediment transport and deposition – examples include flow velocity, bed slope, floodplain form, channel characteristics, land use, geology and run-off.

Project agreements – examples include Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Power Development Agreement (PDA), Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), and Concession Agreement (CA)

Proponent - means a physical or legal person who proposes a project/activity for consideration or acceptance or physical or legal person who implements or operates such project/activity.

Proposed project/activity - means any project or activity proposed by the proponent in the Country of Origin which is subject to national environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the Country of Origin.

Proposed use: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and ProceduresAny proposal for a definite use of the waters of the Mekong River system by any riparian, excluding domestic and minor uses of water not having a significant impact on mainstream flows.

Public - means one or more natural or legal persons.

Public Participation - means a process through which stakeholders gain influence and take part in decision making in the planning, implementation,monitoringand evaluation of development projects/activities.


Top of Page
Quality assurance - Evaluation of quality-control data to allow quantitative determination of the quality of chemical data collected during a study. Techniques used to collect, process, and analyze water samples are evaluated. 


Top of Page
Ramp down rates –the rate at which the water level falls in the reservoir as the result of hydropower operations. Slower ramp down rates can reduce impacts to the reservoir and downstream environment that may occur as the result of a rapid drop in water level
Rating curve - A graph of discharge versus stage; the corresponding discharge can be directly read from the graph when a water level is observed.

Reasonable and equitable use of an international watercourse – is use with a view to attaining optimal and sustainable utilization and benefits, taking into account the interests of the riparian States concerned and consistent with adequate protection of the watercourse. It includes the right to use the watercourse and the duty to co-operate in the protection and development of the watercourse

Relevant and Key Definitionsfromthe Mekong Agreement: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and ProceduresAgreement under Article 5: A decision of the Joint Committee resulting from prior consultation and evaluation on any proposed use for inter-basin diversions during the wet season from the mainstream as well as  for intrabasin use or inter-basin diversions of these waters during the dry season. The objective of this agreement is to achieve an optimum use and prevention of waste of the waters through a dynamic and practical consensus in conformity with the Rules for Water Utilisation and Inter-Basin Diversions set forth in Article 26.

Reservoir management issues – examples include water quality issues including eutrophication, bank slumping and erosion, recreational and commercial reservoir uses, public safety, flood management, navigation, thermal stratification, public access, greenhouse gas emissions and debris management

Reservoir storage characteristics – includes; flooded area, bathymetry, full supply level, minimum operating level, debris control structures

River reaches affected by hydropower operations – are assessed on a project basis and may extend several hundred kilometres downstream for large projects depending on the scheme size, project design and operation, the characteristics of the river system, the extent of seasonal storage and flow regulation, use of diversions etc


Top of Page
Sediment flushing feasibility and EIA – is required to assess whether sediment flushing is feasible for a hydropower project. In some cases,sedimentflushingisnotpossibleduetoproject or river basin characteristics. The feasibility of sediment flushing will depend on reservoir bathymetry, sediment characteristics, flow, generation constraints, dam wall design and sediment passage structures. An EIA study is required to determine the environmental impact of sediment flushing on the downstream environment to inform design of environmentally friendly sediment flushing

Sediment production zones – areas of a basin that contribute sediment to the river system as a result of erosion

Social baseline data - includes, household income, demographic data, cultural heritage,socio-economic condition, protein intake,health and nutrition status, access to water and sanitation, household assets and resources, access to natural resources,household food access and consumption,livelihood activities, land and water resource dependencies

Stakeholder - means any person, group or institution that has an interest in an activity, project or program. This includes both intended beneficiaries and intermediaries, those positively affected, and those involved and/or those who are generally excluded from the decision-making process.

Standards(Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and Proceduresguidelines for data handling that are recognised as best practice in their relevant scientific or technical disciplines, with the objective to minimise the transaction costs of using data.


Top of Page

TbEIA Report - means an EIA report prepared in compliance with national EIA legislation in the Country of Origin for a project/activity where potential transboundary environmental impacts were considered, and where the EIA report is a subject of transboundary consultation.

Timely consultation - means that consultation on the project siting and design takes place at an appropriate time in the project cycle to enable informed planning and decision making and within a reasonable timeframe for all parties involved

Timing of environmental and social plans – means that sufficient time is allowed to implement environmental and social plans before reservoir filling commences. Examples include the resettlement actions plan and arrangements for populations to be relocated to suitable accommodation before reservoir filling commences and sufficient time for vegetation and wildlife removal

Threshold - A value (or limit) of water level or discharge that will cause some action when crossed.

Transboundary environmental impact - means significant environmental impacts/changes originating within the territory of one Member Countrywhichpotentiallyaffect other Member Countries.The environmental impacts/changes include effects on water quality and quantity, flow regimes, river morphology, biodiversity,aquaticecology or further consequent impacts to people’slivelihoodsdepending on the Mekong River and its tributaries.

Transboundary ESIA – an assessment of impacts that may occur outside national borders of the country hosting a hydropower project or group of projects

Transboundary RBO –anintergovernment agency formed between national governments sharing a river basin to facilitate co-operation for river basin planning and management. Members may include all or some states sharing the river basin

Transboundary water use agreements – an agreement signed between countries sharing a river basin which provides a mutually agreed framework for co-operation on international rivers, e.g. the 1995 Mekong Agreement


Top of Page
Emission Scenario - Emission Scenariosaretheprojectedfutureconcentrationatatmosphericgreen house gasses or aerosols,specificwith both changing spatial and temporal concentrations. They are typically derived from a separate analysis of likely economic and social development


Top of Page
Velocity - The speed or rate of motion 
Vulnerability  - the inability to resist a hazard or to respond when a disaster has occurred. For instance, people who live on plains are more vulnerable to floods than people who live higher up.


Top of Page
Water management constraints on electricity dispatch – examples include environmental or downstream minimum flow release, reservoir level agreements, ramp down rates, commitments to maintain flood storage capacity

Water services – examples include water storage, flood management, regulation of flow, irrigation supply, navigation, water supply, water for fisheries and floodplain agriculture

Water Use Monitoring System: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and ProceduresThe water use monitoring system of the MRC (Monitoring System) is the system established by the MRC and member States to monitor water use in the Mekong Basin and inter-basin diversion into another basin. The components of the Monitoring System and its management/operation are stipulated in 4.2.
Water Use/Utilisation: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and ProceduresFor the purpose of the present Procedures, it means any use of water which may have a significant impact to the water quality or flows regime of the mainstream of the Mekong River System by any member State. The Joint Committee may review and revise this definition from time-to-time as required for effective implementation of the Procedures.
Watershed - a drainage divide or basin.
Wet and Dry Seasons: (Refer to 1995 Mekong Agreement and ProceduresThe dates of the start and end of the wet and dry seasons vary throughout the basin due to regional variations. According to the preliminary analyses of the relatively long time series of hydrometeorological data, the wet season may start during mid-May to mid-June and end from mid-November to mid-December. The MRC JC will decide on the actual dates of the start and the end of the wet and dry seasons, based on analyses by the MRC Secretariat together with the National Mekong Committees (NMCs) of long term mainstream flow data.
Wet season months - Six calendar months from June to November (relating to implementation of Article 6B of the 1995 Mekong Agreement).


Top of Page
Emission Scenario - Emission Scenariosaretheprojectedfutureconcentrationatatmosphericgreen house gasses or aerosols,specificwith both changing spatial and temporal concentrations. They are typically derived from a separate analysis of likely economic and social development


Top of Page
Emission Scenario - Emission Scenariosaretheprojectedfutureconcentrationatatmosphericgreen house gasses or aerosols,specificwith both changing spatial and temporal concentrations. They are typically derived from a separate analysis of likely economic and social development


Top of Page
Zero Datum - A reference "zero" elevation for a stream or river gage. This "zero" can be referenced (usually within ten feet of the bottom of the channel) to mean sea level, or to any other recognized datum.
Zoning -theprocessofdividingland in a municipality into zones (e.g. residential, industrial) in which certain land uses are permitted or prohibited.