- Reclamation Nations: The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Role in Water Management and Nation Building in the Mekong Valley, 1945-1975
- Comparative Technology Transfer and Society
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 4, Number 3, December 2006
- pp. 225-246
- View Citation
- Additional Information
The Bureau of Reclamation's engineers played a substantial role in the history of American modernization efforts in Southeast Asia by planning and building dams that have had long-term social and environmental consequences for water management in the region. Bureau staff not only coordinated dam designs, but also trained hundreds of local engineers and actively contributed to the growth of public and private sector institutions in the region. They facilitated the refocusing of American development strategies in Asia from Depression era programs in India and China to the relatively uncharted, violently contested terrain of the Mekong Valley. These activities have had lasting, often problematic effects not only on the water environment but also on contemporary development initiatives in the region.