EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Sustainability of the Lower Mekong River under human impact: A freshwater ecosystem health investigation

Ibrahim Mohammed1, John Bolten1, Nicholas Souter2, Kashif Shaad3, and Derek Vollmer3
Ibrahim Mohammed et al.
  • 1NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Hydrological Sciences Laboratory, Greenbelt, United States of America (
  • 2Conservation International, Greater Mekong Program, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
  • 3Conservation International, Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science, Arlington, VA 22202, USA

Understanding the impacts of human activity on the environment is critical to water resources planning and ecosystem services sustainability.  The goal of this work is to develop decision making and support tools for natural resources conservation and assessment at the Lower Mekong River basin by leveraging satellite observations of Earth, physical hydrological modeling (doi:10.3390/rs10060885), and freshwater health index framework (doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.01.040).  The approach adopted in this work relied on a comprehensive suite of hydrological data products and a regional hydrological decision support system application for the Lower Mekong River basin compiled and developed to improve water accounting and floodplain management.  The social-ecological framework named the freshwater health index (FHI) takes account of the interplay between governance, stakeholders, freshwater ecosystems and the ecosystems services they provide.  Various dam reservoir scenarios have been examined based on stakeholder engagement to enhance the results of the integrative social and ecological nature of fresh waters at the Srepok, Sesan, and Sekong (3S) River basins of the Lower Mekong.  Preliminary results represented by ecosystem vitality indicator has corroborated seasonal flow patterns change in response to water storage capacity increase.  For instance, current modeled reservoirs at the 3S River basin exhibit a deviation from natural flow decrease of 10% when compared with baseline reservoirs.  Governance and Stakeholders role has been found critical to the health of the 3S freshwater ecosystem.  The approach methodology utilized in this work employing the integration of satellite earth observation data and hydrological modeling to investigate ecosystem freshwater health is applicable on a global scale.  This work is part of an ongoing research partnership work between the National Aeronautical and Space Agency (NASA) and the Conservation International (CI) dedicated to improving natural resources assessment for conservation and sustainable management.

How to cite: Mohammed, I., Bolten, J., Souter, N., Shaad, K., and Vollmer, D.: Sustainability of the Lower Mekong River under human impact: A freshwater ecosystem health investigation, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5675,, 2020

This abstract will not be presented.