The Irrigation and Water Forum is the United Kingdom’s national section of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID). We focus on water resources, including agricultural development, in the context of sustainable river basin management, both nationally and internationally.

Growing populations, higher socio-economic demands, water mismanagement, and the impact of climate change are increasing competition between water users. With over 800 million people suffering from chronic hunger, and 1.1 billion people lacking access to water, water and food security are on the world agenda. To get involved in the discussion, find us on twitter (@iwaterforum), join us at one of our events, or sign up as a member now.

Through the IWF, you can enjoy a lively programme of meetings and events on all aspects of water resources throughout the year as well as technical visits and other events. Keep up to date with ‘News and Views’ – a bulletin circulated for our members – and access the internationally renowned journal ‘Irrigation and Drainage’.


Mekong River Basin – Implications of Rapid Transformation of a Transboundary River System

5th and 12th November 2021, 9am to 12pm GMT, Online, Free to join.

This event will be held online in two parts, on the 5th and 12th November. 9am to 12pm. Further details available here. Register here for the 12th November event.

The Mekong River and its tributaries drain a vast area of mainland Southeast Asia. The Mekong flows more than 4,500km from the mountains of south-western China, and together with its tributaries it also drains parts of Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. This transboundary river basin feeds and waters some 66m people, but its continued ability to do so is in question as the basin has undergone an extremely rapid transformation. According to the WWF, quoted in The Economist, May 16th 2020, “All the environmental indicators are in the red.” There are 13 dams along the Mekong mainstream: 11 in China and two in Laos. China plans eight more and Laos seven, while Cambodia has placed a moratorium on mainstream dam building. There are also dozens of dams operating and under construction on Mekong tributaries in all four lower riparian countries, with plans for many more.

This meeting will consider the implications of the rapid transformation for the basin, its region and other transboundary basins.  The meeting comprises two virtual sessions.  The first session, on Friday 5 November, will consider aspects of historical developments along the Mekong River and where these developments may be heading.

In the second session, on Friday 12 November, looks at specific developments affecting the flow regime of the Mekong river and possibilities for developing a sustainable river system.