This research assesses the human security impacts from dam development at three scales: the international river basin, the nation-state, and the local affected communities. Human security is a framework related to the stability and sustainability of political, environmental, economical, and socio-cultural areas of concern. Water resources around the world are under increased pressure from increased development, growing populations, pollution, and global climate change. Large-scale dam development while still popular for political and economic development reasons, has been found to result in costs that outweigh benefits in environmental and socio-cultural sectors.
Two case studies are analyzed to capture three scales of human security impacts from dam development: the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia and the Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong River in Laos. The conclusions are that human security impacts due exist from dam development, but but vary with scale, sector, and perception, as well as the datasets used for analysis.
This research was completed in fulfillment of Dr. Jennifer Veilleux's PhD. Her completed dissertation, Is Dam Development a Mechanism for Human Security? Scale and Perception of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia and the Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong River in Laos, is housed at Oregon State University's Scholars Archive.
This page contains work associated with her research that is not featured in the dissertation. Maps made of the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) and Human Security Index (HSI) and others in the dissertation can be found at the bottom of the page.
Dr. Veilleux used two additional methods of content analysis in her research. The two case studies' national and local level field interview transcripts were coded and mapped into color coded situation maps for further content analysis, and these interviews were also turned into word clouds through the use of Wordle.
Based on this research she published a paper, The Human Security Dimensions of Dam Development: The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which appeared in Global Dialogue, Issue 15, Volume 2 in November 2013.
The Oregon University-based radio show "Inspiration Dissemination" interviewed Jennifer about her Ethiopian research and academic path from May 2014. The online publication, Terra, that promotes research and research-related activities at Oregon State University published a short story about her Ethiopian research.
For questions on this research, please contact Jennifer Veilleux.
Maps from Human Security Dimensions of Dam Development in the Nile and Mekong River Basins
All maps below can be downloaded at full resolution from the Map and Image Galleries.