Press Release

Stimson’s Mekong Dam Monitor Wins Disaster Tech Award

Featuring Brian Eyler

The Stimson Center Southeast Asia program’s Mekong Dam Monitor has won first prize at the 2021 Safe Steps D-Tech Awards in the non-profit category. The award recognizes technology that can protect and save lives during natural disasters. The Monitor uses satellite data to provide near real-time monitoring of water levels in Mekong dams and models how the river would flow naturally without dams. This reporting enables downstream communities to prepare for floods, water supply disruptions, and other risks caused by upstream dam operations.

The project is a collaboration between the Stimson Center and Eyes on Earth, Inc.,

Use it now: The Mekong Dam Monitor.

Brian Eyler, Director of Stimson’s Southeast Asia Program said:

“The Mekong Dam Monitor lets you know where the water is, how much is there, and where it should be. We are the first to use this technology in this new way to improve livelihoods and increase both physical safety and economic security.

This award demonstrates that the Mekong Dam Monitor is having an impact and signals that these methods can be replicated in other places. There are hundreds of river basins around the world where transparency and accountability gaps can be closed with evidence-based tools like the Monitor. We are grateful for the Prudence Foundation’s support of this important pilot project.”

Alan Basist, Mekong Dam Monitor co-lead and President Eyes on Earth said,

“As a founding partner of the Mekong Dam Monitor, the Eyes on Earth team is thrilled that our surface wetness product can inform society how the natural flow of river water is being altered. Our goal is to provide data that supports creative solutions towards a more equitable distribution of fresh water. The honor of this award brings recognition to our achievements, provides funds to expand our scope of work, and promotes transparency of freshwater resources around the world.

In addition to Safe Steps D-Tech Award funds from the Prudence Foundation, The Mekong Dam Monitor is supported by a grant from the U.S Department of State with additional support from Chino Cienega Foundation and individual donors. As part of the Mekong-U.S. Partnership, the Monitor builds on the ongoing work of the Mekong Water Data Initiative (MWDI) to improve the transboundary management of the Mekong River through data sharing and science-based decision making.

The Stimson Center Southeast Asia Program works with key stakeholders in Lower Mekong countries and with key development partners – such as the governments of the United States, Australia, Japan, and EU – to design and implement technical and policy solutions that promote the sustainable development of the Mekong Basin.

Eyes on Earth is a for-profit consulting company which uses pioneering techniques to analyze worldwide land-surface temperature, wetness, and snow cover products derived from passive microwave observations.

The Stimson Center promotes international security, shared prosperity & justice through applied research and independent analysis, deep engagement, and policy innovation. More at www.Stimson.org.

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