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Lao Peoples Democratic Republic

Peace Independence Democracy Unity Prosperity


----=====000=====---Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
/MNE

No
Vientiane Capital, Date ..2016

DRAFT
Regulation
on
Procedures for river basin management planning, water
allocation planning and minimum flows

Referring to the Law on Water and Water Resources, document No. 0296, dated 11 October 1996
Referring to the draft updated Environmental Protection Law, document
No. 041/NP, dated 18 December 2012
Referring to the Decree on the Environmental and Social Impacts
Assessment, document No. 112/PM, dated 16 October 2010.
Referring to the Presidents Provisions on the Rates for Natural
Resources, document No. 001, dated 15 December 2015.
Referring to the Decree on the Establishment and Implementation of
the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, document No.
435/PM, dated 28 November 2011.

The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment


Agrees to Issue the Following Procedures

General Provisions

Article 1 Objective
(1) This regulation defines principles and procedures regarding river basin
management planning, water allocation planning and minimum flows
aimed at ensuring sustainable water resources development and
allocation of water resources, minimization of water impacts (droughts
and floods) management of activities carried out in river basins, rivers,
tributaries river basins, streams, lakes, cannels, ponds, wetlands,
reservoirs, etc., reduced flooding and drought impacts and protection
of livelihoods and the aquatic environment of a river basin. and the
alteration of natural water sources and river basins while protecting the
diversity and sustainability of water and water resources in accordance
with the relevant laws and government policies and strategies.

Article 2 Water resources


(1) Water resources are all types of water, occurring in natural sources on
the surface of the
land, underground and in the atmosphere as well as built water sources
such as reservoir and ponds, and water-related resources such as
wetlands and living and non-living things such as aquatic flora and
fauna, gravel, sand, etc.

Article 3 Definitions of Terms


(1) Terms used in this Procedures have the following meaning:
(a) Groundwater means natural water beneath the surface such as
water in wells,
springs, underground channels and aquifers;
(b) River basin means an area of land in which rainwater and surface
water converge to
reach a single point at the mouth of a river;
(c) Surface water means natural water on the surface of the ground
such as rivers; streams, creeks, lakes, ponds, reservoirs each a
single point at the mouth of a river;
(d) Water resources assessment report refers to
(e) Water sector profile report refers to
evaluate socio-economic aspects of the development of water
resources in river basin
(b) Water utilization allocation means the use of water that may
severely affect the quality and the flow system of water in a river
due to any particular action.
(c) River basin development plan means to the process and material
used for planning by the committee as a master for dividing types
and prioritizing projects and programmes in order to identify
supports and implement plans at a river basin level.

(d) The alteration of natural water sources means the modification of


riverbank, river channels and other ecosystems of the water
sources due to the actions of the humans, such as scrapping,
excavating, and extracting minerals, sand, topsoil; destroying
rapids; expanding river bank using soils, rocks, concrete,
constructing terrace, installing poles and any natural modification of
waterbody.

Article 4 General principles for the water resources planning and


management in a
river basin
(1) Water resources management in a river basin shall be implemented in
accordance with
the following principles:
(a) Develop effective and efficient collaborative and integrated
mechanisms for the
sustainable management and development of water
resources,
(b) Ensure management, development, conservation, and
rehabilitation of water resources in all areas of the country in
responding to the needs and in parallel with the management for
are for highest economic, social and environmental benefits,
sustainability while at the same time preventing, reducing and
resolving natural disasters to minimize impacts on society and
the ecosystems.
(c) Ensure the participation of society in the planning,
development, utilization and
protection of water resources to be sustainable,
(d) Ensure the protection and minimize risk of impact on water
resources and communities that depend on water resources for
livelihood,
(e) Ensure that water use allocation for each sector is carried out in
a just manner.
(f) Ensure integrated management of water resources at river basin
level and other small prioritized river basins in the country.
(g) Update the integrated water resources management plan to
address the needs of water users, including the quality and
quantity of river basin and increase measures for effectively
preventing impacts from climate change, drought, flooding,
erosion and sedimentation.

Article 5 Purpose of a river basin management plan


(1) A river basin management plan defines the coordination framework of
activities to be completed by line Ministries, in-line with their legislated
water sector responsibilities, to enable sustainable development of

water resources of a river basin for economic and social benefits, to


minimize water impacts and protect the aquatic environment.
(2) A sub-plan for water allocation must be in accordance with the national
socio-economic
development plan.

Article 6 Preparation of a river basin management plan


(1) The natural resources and environmental sector shall proactively
coordinate with other
sectors for planning and preparation of a river basin management plan,
which includes the following minimum requirements:
(a) evaluate and monitor the quantity and quality of water resources
in the river basin;
(b) evaluate socio-economic aspects of the development of water
resources in river basin,
(c) evaluate and define areas with high risk of flood, drought, water
scarcity, pollution, and reservoir safety and define necessary
measures to prevent or minimize the mentioned disasters,
(d) define priorities and establish sub-plan for water allocation in the
basin.
(2) The natural resources and environmental sector must apply a multisectorial
working group that includes government, private sector, and other nongovernment stakeholders, in the preparation, monitoring and
evaluation of a river basin management plan, and can include the
establishment of a River Basin Coordination Committee.
(3) The natural resources and environmental sector may established a
technical working
group to assist preparation of a river basin management plan.
(4) The natural resources and environment sector must prepare a water
resource
assessment report and a water sector profile report to support
identification of priority water resources and water resource
management issues to be addressed in a river basin management plan.
(5) The natural resources and environmental sector must prepare and
implement a
stakeholder consultation plan to assist identification of priority water
resources and
water resources management issues to be addressed in a river basin
management plan.
(6) The stakeholder consultation plan must include:
(a) Identify stakeholders to be consulted,
(b) Consultation schedule,
(c) Process for documentation of consultation,
(d) Process for analysis and reporting of consultation.

(7) The natural resources and environmental sector must set out a work
plan for the preparation of a river basin management plan, prior to
commencing its preparation, which includes completion times for at
least these tasks:
(a) preparation of the water resources assessment report,
(b) preparation of the water sector profile report,
(c) implementation of the stakeholder consultation plan,
(d) revision of draft plan to address stakeholders comments,
(e) final public comment on draft plan,
(f) submission of draft plan.

Article 7 Contents of a river basin management plan


(1) A river basin management plan must include at least these
components:
(a) a vision statement,
(b) list priority water resources and water resources management
issues,
(c) management objectives and actions, consistent with vision
statement, to
address priority issues,
(d) line Ministries responsibilities for implementation of actions ,
(e) performance indicators to measure the success of the
implementation of actions
(f) timeframe to complete the actions,
(g) estimated budget for implementation of the plan.

Article 8 Approval a river basin management plan


(1) A river basin management plan commences on the date that the
Minister of the natural
resources and environmental sector signs off on the plan.
(2) The Minister of the natural resources and environmental sector may
delegate approval of a draft river basin management plan to Vice
Ministers of the natural resources and environmental sector, the
Director General of Water Resources or Provincial Governors.
(3) The Minister of the natural resources and environmental sector may
approve, alter or not to proceed with the draft management plan.
(4) Before approving the river basin management plan, the Minister of the
natural resources and environmental sector must obtain the
endorsement of the all Provincial Governors of provinces that fully or
partially cover river basin area.

Article 9 Amend, suspend or cancel a river basin management


plan

(1) The Minister for the natural resources and environment sector may at
any time, by
signing of on a legal notification instrument and public notification,
amend, suspend or cancel a river basin management plan if satisfied it
is in the public interest to do so.
(2) The Minister of the natural resources and environmental sector may
delegate approval
to amend, suspend or cancel a river basin management plan if satisfied
it is in the public interest to do so, to Vice Ministers, the Director
General of Water Resources or Provincial Governors.
(3) The Minister for the natural resources and environment sector must
obtain the
endorsement of all Provincial Governors of provinces that fully or
partially cover river basin area before amending, suspending or
cancelling a river basin management plan.
(4) The amendment, suspension or cancellation of a draft river basin
management plan takes effect on the date the Minister of natural
resources and environmental sector signs off on a legal notification
instrument.

Article 10 Extension of duration of river basin management plan


(1) The Minister for the natural resources and environment may via a legal
notification instrument extend a river basin management plan for a
further 10 years from the expiry date of the plan, and more than one
extension of a river management plan may be made.
(2) The Minister for the natural resources and environment sector may
establish a multi-sector working group, involving government, private
sector, and other non-government stakeholders, to assess if the river
basin management plan to be extend or not.

(3) The Minister for the natural resources and environment sector must
obtain the endorsement of the Provincial Governors of provinces that
fully or partially cover river basin and the multi-sector work group, if
established, before extending the duration of a river basin
management plan.

Article 11 Purpose of a sub-plan for water allocation


(1) A sub-plan for water allocation defines by season the available water of
a river basin for commercial use, the rules for allocation of the
available water for commercial use between major water users
including hydropower, irrigation, town supply, aquaculture, industry
sectors etc. and the minimum flow rules of a river basin.

(2) The rules for allocation of the available water for commercial use may
apply to the whole or any part of a river basin, or to the whole or any
part of one or more water sources within a river basin.
(3) A sub-plan for water allocation must be in accordance with the national
socio-economic
development plan and relevant river basin management plan where
one exists.

Article 12 Preparation of a sub-plan for water allocation


(1) The natural resources and environmental sector must apply a multisectorial
working group that includes government, private sector, and other nongovernment stakeholders, in the preparation, monitoring and
evaluation of a sub-plan for water allocation.
(2) The natural resources and environmental sector must base the subplan for water allocation on best available scientific information,
including recognizing the effect of climatic variability on availability of
water.
(3) The natural resources and environmental sector must prepare and
implement a stakeholder consultation to assist identification of water
users and their water use needs, and the available for commercial use,
the rules for allocation of available water for commercial use between
major water users, and minimum flows to be included the sub-plan for
water allocation.
(4) The stakeholder consultation plan must include at least the following
components:
(a) Identification of stakeholders to be consulted,
(b) Consultation schedule,
(c) Process for documentation of consultation,
(d) Process for analysis and reporting of consultation.

(5) The natural resources and environmental sector must set out a work
plan for the preparation of a sub-plan for water allocation, prior to
commencing its preparation, which includes completion times for at
least the following tasks:
(a) identification of major water users and their water use needs,
(b) identification of water demand and climate scenarios to be
assessed,
(c) assessment of scenarios using water resources models,
(d) draft sub-plan for water allocation,

(e)
(f)
(g)
(h)

implementation of stakeholder consultation on draft plan,


revision of draft plan to address stakeholders comments,
final public comment on draft plan,
submission of draft plan.

Article 13 Contents of a sub-plan for water allocation


(1) A sub-plan for water allocation must include at least these
components:
(a) context and area,
(b) resource objectives and outcomes,
(c) current and projected water demands,
(d) available water by season for commercial use,
(e) rules for allocation of the available water for commercial use
between major water users by season,
(f) minimum flows rules,
(g) rules for inter-basin allocation of available water for commercial
use and minimum flows,
(h) procedures for monitoring and reporting of minimum flows
releases.
(2) The rules for allocation of the available water for commercial use
between major water users must set out the quantity, rates, times and
circumstances of available water for use a major water user from any
water source in the river basin.

Article 14 Approval a sub-plan for water allocation


(5) A sub-plan for water allocation commences on the date that the
Minister of the natural
resources and environmental sector signs off on the plan.
(6) The Minister of the natural resources and environmental sector may
delegate approval of a draft sub-plan for water allocation to Vice
Ministers of the natural resources and environmental sector, the
Director General of Water Resources or Provincial Governors.
(7) The Minister of the natural resources and environmental sector may
approve, alter or not to proceed with the draft sub-plan for water
allocation.
(8) Before approving the draft sub-plan for water allocation, the Minister of
the natural resources and environmental sector must obtain the
endorsement of the all Provincial Governors of provinces that fully or
partially cover river basin area. (& relevant sector Ministers to?)

Article 15 Amend, suspend or cancel a sub-plan for water


allocation
(1) The Minister for the natural resources and environment sector may at
any time, by

signing of on a legal notification instrument and public notification,


amend, suspend or cancel a sub-plan for water allocation if satisfied it
is in the public interest.
(2) The Minister of the natural resources and environmental sector may
delegate approval to amend, suspend or cancel a sub-plan for water
allocation if satisfied it is in the public interest to do so, to Vice
Ministers, the Director General of Water Resources or Provincial
Governors.
(3) The Minister for the natural resources and environment sector must
obtain the endorsement of all Provincial Governors of provinces that
fully or partially cover river basin area before amending, suspending or
cancelling a sub-plan for water allocation.
(4) The amendment, suspension or cancellation of a sub-plan for water
allocation takes effect on the date the Minister of natural resources and
environmental sector signs off on a legal notification instrument.

Article 16 Suspension on sub-plans for water allocation during


severe water shortage
To be completed include establishment of water use restriction rules
Article 17 Extension of duration of sub-plan for water allocation
(1) The Minister for the natural resources and environment may via a legal
notification
instrument extend a sub-plan for water allocation for a further 10 years
from the expiry date of the plan, and more than one extension of a subplan for water allocation may be made.
(2) The Minister for the natural resources and environment sector may
establish a multisector working group, involving government, private sector, and other
non-government stakeholders, to assess if the sub-plan for water
allocation to be extend or not.
(3) The Minister for the natural resources and environment sector must
obtain the
endorsement of the Provincial Governors of provinces that fully or
partially cover river basin and the multi-sector work group, if
established, before extending the duration of a sub-plan for water
allocation. (& relevant sector Ministers to?)

Article 18 Minimum flows rules


Article 19 Establishment of minimum flow rules
Article 20 Approval of minimum flow flows

Final provision
To be completed
Other Articles to consider:
Audit?
Dispute resolution?
Reporting?
Compliance?