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Article
Peer-Review Record

Downstream State and Water Security in the Mekong Region: A Case of Cambodia between Too Much and Too Little Water

Water 2021, 13(6), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060802
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Water 2021, 13(6), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060802
Received: 29 December 2020 / Revised: 23 February 2021 / Accepted: 1 March 2021 / Published: 15 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Climate Risks to Water Security)

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

The introductory part is a rather general assessment of water issues and does not really fit with the (interesting) case studies.

General ideas and also some parts of the article (like table 3) have already been published earlier (https://doi.org/10.3390/resources6030044). 

All in all the article is not well structured - e.g. the case studies are mentioned extensively on p 4 and 5, and then again in in part 4; the relation between the general introduction, the case studies, and the results is clear in the sense of the general thesis (cambodia has too much and too little water and manages both of them badly) but the exact contribution of the case studies for this insight could and should be made more explicit. Some parts are redundant; more analytic strength should be applied. 

The case studies are really interesting; I am unsure though if all possible conclusions really have been drawn from them - descripition sometimes dominates the analysis.  

 

Author Response

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

1. The introductory part is a rather general assessment of water issues and does not really fit with the (interesting) case studies.

Response 1:

The case studies and the introduction have been revised, taking into account the comments from Reviewers.

2. General ideas and also some parts of the article (like table 3) have already been published earlier (https://doi.org/10.3390/resources6030044). 

Response 2

The Table 3 has been removed and sentence has been revised. Please see the revised manuscript.

3. All in all the article is not well structured - e.g. the case studies are mentioned extensively on p 4 and 5, and then again in in part 4; the relation between the general introduction, the case studies, and the results is clear in the sense of the general thesis (Cambodia has too much and too little water and manages both of them badly) but the exact contribution of the case studies for this insight could and should be made more explicit. Some parts are redundant; more analytic strength should be applied. 

The case studies are really interesting; I am unsure though if all possible conclusions really have been drawn from them - description sometimes dominates the analysis.  

Response 3

The manuscript has been restructured and revised based on the comments from Reviewers. Section 3 and 4 have been merged into one—Results and Discussion.

 

Reviewer 2 Report

p. 3, l. 106-108 : « In the city of Dresden in Germany, people implemented flood protection measures after the flood in 2002, and Kreibich and Thieken [18] noted that flood protection reduces vulnerability during the 2005/2006 floods » à Please precise briefly what kind of « flood protection measures ». And the assertion « flood protection reduces vulnerability » is disputable and might be reformulated. Indeed, many research works have shown that structural protections against flood can have perverse effects such as increasing vulnerability by forgetting the risk (so urbanization goes on or even increase in flood prone areas) or by putting people at a new (and higher) risk : that of the brutal rupture of the protection infrastructure.

 

p. 3, l. 113-115 : « van Koningsveld et al. [19] examines the interactions between floods and people that shape the Dutch society, its institutions, and its flood protection system over the centuries, and found out that the Dutch human-flood system is shifting from coping strategies to protection strategies [19]. » à In the context of climate change, the adaptation registry is becoming increasingly important. In terms of flood risk, the promotion of adaptation and the resilience of territories and societies questions the protection and primacy of structural measures. To be integrated into the reflection.

 

p. 3, l. 118-119 : I would suppress this sentence. I don’t quite understand the link with above, nor the usefulness…

 

p. 5, figure 1 : Map to be completed, in particular by adding a nomenclature (names of neighboring countries, sea, main rivers, main, etc.), but also by localizing main cities, in order to improve its readability and efficiency.

 

Part 2 "Materials and methods" : A summary table of the survey methods implemented at the three sites (how many interviews? With whom? How many focus groups? With how many villagers? Dates of completion, etc.) would be welcome. For each of the focus groups, specify what the questions/discussions focused on.

 

I don't understand the organization of the plan for parts 3 and 4… Part 3 "Results and discussion" is more a part of general elements (perhaps the result and synthesis of quantitative data research?), while Part 4 "Case Studies of Water Resources Management in Cambodia" is a part presenting the results of the fieldwork and qualitative surveys. It seems to me that this work is the core of the article (compared to what is announced in the introduction), so it should be presented in the "Results and discussion" section. In short, the plan should be reviewed, perhaps the general elements of the synthesis, in order to better highlight the analyses resulting from the qualitative fieldwork.

 

p. 11 : « These include one case study on the Stung Chreybak irrigation, the second case study on the Lower Sesan 2 Dam (LS2), and the third case study on transboundary water resources management in the Mekong Delta. The Stung Chrey Bak scheme is located in Kampong Chhnang Province in the Tonle Sap Basin that irrigates 10,367 ha of rice fields. The LS2 is situated in the 3S Basin (Sesan, Srepok, and Sekong River Basin) in Cambodia. The transboundary water resources management focuses on the Mekong Delta in Takeo province along the Cambodia-Vietnam border (Table 4). » Already said in a previous section. To be recalled in a more synthetic way here.

 

p. 15 : « The Khmer Rouge designed and built the Stung Chreybak irrigation scheme. » Repetition, to be deleted.

 

p. 19 : « rubber dams » Could you clarify what this is all about ?

 

p. 21 : « contradicts to the 1995 MRC Agreement, particularly Article 3 » Cite this article in a footnote.

 

In general, the article is interesting and is based on rich qualitative surveys. Nevertheless, apart from the few notional deepening and/or clarification and the few additions suggested above, one main point should in our opinion be reworked: the articulation between part 3 and part 4. In the current configuration, the links between the two parts do not seem obvious enough, one rather has the impression of two distinct developments. A general development, at the national level (part 3) and 3 local case studies, but without the overall logic being sufficiently clear. The plan should therefore be rethought and reorganized in order to better highlight the original contributions of the paper, particularly in view of the fieldwork carried out. Reworking the plan and this articulation of general considerations and case studies would improve the clarity and effectiveness of the demonstration.

Author Response

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

  1. 3, l. 106-108 : « In the city of Dresden in Germany, people implemented flood protection measures after the flood in 2002, and Kreibich and Thieken [18] noted that flood protection reduces vulnerability during the 2005/2006 floods » à Please precise briefly what kind of « flood protection measures ». And the assertion « flood protection reduces vulnerability » is disputable and might be reformulated. Indeed, many research works have shown that structural protections against flood can have perverse effects such as increasing vulnerability by forgetting the risk (so urbanization goes on or even increase in flood prone areas) or by putting people at a new (and higher) risk : that of the brutal rupture of the protection infrastructure.

Response 1:

Krause [17] studied the frequent and low-intensity flooding in Gloucestershire, UK, and argues that frequent floodings result in increased preparedness and reduced vulnerability. In the city of Dresden in Germany, people implemented flood protection measures after the flood in 2002, such as rising the level of embankment and a dike system to control floods. Kreibich and Thieken [18] noted that flood protection reduces vulnerability during the 2005/2006 floods. However, structural protections against flood can also have perverse effects such as increasing vulnerability by forgetting the risk, and so urbanization goes on or even increase in flood prone areas or by putting people at a new risk.

 

  1. 3, l. 113-115 : « van Koningsveld et al. [19] examines the interactions between floods and people that shape the Dutch society, its institutions, and its flood protection system over the centuries, and found out that the Dutch human-flood system is shifting from coping strategies to protection strategies [19]. » à In the context of climate change, the adaptation registry is becoming increasingly important. In terms of flood risk, the promotion of adaptation and the resilience of territories and societies questions the protection and primacy of structural measures. To be integrated into the reflection.

 

Response 2:

The sentence is revised, taking into account the suggestions of Reviewer

“van Koningsveld et al. [19] examines the interactions between floods and people that shape the Dutch society, its institutions, and its flood protection system over the centuries, and found out that the Dutch human-flood system is shifting from coping strategies to protection strategies. In the context of climate change, the adaptation registry is becoming increasingly important. In terms of flood risk, the promotion of adaptation and the resilience of territories and societies questions the protection and primacy of structural measures”.

  1. 3, l. 118-119 : I would suppress this sentence. I don’t quite understand the link with above, nor the usefulness…

Response 3:

The sentence has been removed.

  1. 5, figure 1 : Map to be completed, in particular by adding a nomenclature (names of neighboring countries, sea, main rivers, main, etc.), but also by localizing main cities, in order to improve its readability and efficiency.

 Responses 4:

Map is updated. Please see below the updated map.

Part 2 "Materials and methods" : A summary table of the survey methods implemented at the three sites (how many interviews? With whom? How many focus groups? With how many villagers? Dates of completion, etc.) would be welcome. For each of the focus groups, specify what the questions/discussions focused on.

 Response 5: The table of summary is prepared taking the suggestions of Reviewer.

Table: Summary of the survey methods in the studied sites

Case Studies

No. of studied villages

No. of interviews

People Interviewed

Focused Group Discussions (FGDs)

Questions to be Discussed

Duration of the Studies

The Lower Sean 2 dam (LS2) in the 3S Region

02 villages (Srae Kor and Kbal Romeas)

 

10 people

Representatives of the provincial government, the Provincial Department of Agriculture, Provincial Fisheries Cantonment, Provincial Department of Environment, Provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology, Provincial Department of Rural Development, Provincial Department of Energy, Provincial Department of Women Development, Provincial Department of Education, and District Authority.

·       02 FGDs—one in

·       12 villagers

·       The impacts of the LS2 on a river system, livelihoods of river-dependent people, fisheries and water resources, flood and drought events,

·       The flood and drought events relates to the LS2.

·       local government involvements in addressing villager concerns, and the intervention of national government to improve the livelihood security.

 

January-May 2017

The Stung Chreybak irrigation Scheme in the Tonle Sap Region

02 villages (Chreybak and Trapang Trabek)

10 people

UNDP, ADB, 3 NGOs, Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, Provincial Department of Water Resources, and 3 community representatives.

·       02 FGDs—one in each villages.

·       10 participants (5 participants in each group)

·       Water management issues—flood and drought, affecting rice farming;

·       The policies, legal and institutional framework ,

·       The capacity of communities to address water management issues,

·       Challenges and opportunities that exist to improving water management;

·       The roles played by the FWUCs, as well as the management and use of water.

 

July-September 2016

Transboundary water management in the Bassac River at the border areas between Cambodia and Vietnam in Takeo Province

n/a

10 people

Representatives of the Provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology, Agriculture, Rural Development, Fisheries, Women Development, District Officer, Commune Chief and 3 members of FWUCs.

·       02 FGDs

·       8 participants

·       Water issues related to flood, drought, and other issues;

·       Responds to water issue--the integrated transboundary water management;

·       The capacity of government agencies and communities to address water management issues, and

·       Regional cooperation.

 

March-December 2015

 

I don't understand the organization of the plan for parts 3 and 4… Part 3 "Results and discussion" is more a part of general elements (perhaps the result and synthesis of quantitative data research?), while Part 4 "Case Studies of Water Resources Management in Cambodia" is a part presenting the results of the fieldwork and qualitative surveys. It seems to me that this work is the core of the article (compared to what is announced in the introduction), so it should be presented in the "Results and discussion" section. In short, the plan should be reviewed, perhaps the general elements of the synthesis, in order to better highlight the analyses resulting from the qualitative fieldwork [DONE]

Responses 6:

Section 3 and 4 have merged into one entitling “Result and Discussion”. Please see the details in the text.

  1. 11 : « These include one case study on the Stung Chreybak irrigation, the second case study on the Lower Sesan 2 Dam (LS2), and the third case study on transboundary water resources management in the Mekong Delta. The Stung Chrey Bak scheme is located in Kampong Chhnang Province in the Tonle Sap Basin that irrigates 10,367 ha of rice fields. The LS2 is situated in the 3S Basin (Sesan, Srepok, and Sekong River Basin) in Cambodia. The transboundary water resources management focuses on the Mekong Delta in Takeo province along the Cambodia-Vietnam border (Table 4). » Already said in a previous section. To be recalled in a more synthetic way here.

 Response 7:

These sentences have been reviewed and revised. Large parts have been deleted to avoid repetition.

  1. 15 : « The Khmer Rouge designed and built the Stung Chreybak irrigation scheme. » Repetition, to be deleted.

 

Responses 7:

The sentence is deleted

 

  1. 19 : « rubber dams » Could you clarify what this is all about ?

Response 8:

The footnote is composed and included in the manuscript, following the suggestion of Reviewer 2:

“Rubber dams are flexible membrane structures placed across channels, streams and rivers as a substitute for traditional earth and concrete dams. Rubber dam consists of civil works, dam bag, anchor, filling drainage facilities and control system. It is made of strength canvas as reinforced framework and rubber layer, which ensure tightness of the rubber layers. They can be inflated by air, water or the combination of both to raise the upstream water level and partially or completely deflated to allow passage of flood.”

  1. 21 : « contradicts to the 1995 MRC Agreement, particularly Article 3 » Cite this article in a footnote.

Response 9:

Article 3 of 1995 MRC Agreement has been included in the footnote.  

“Article 3, 1995 MRC Agreement states that “To protect the environment, natural resources, aquatic life and conditions, and ecological balance of the Mekong River Basin from pollution or other harmful effects resulting from any development plans and uses of water and related resources in the Basin.”

In general, the article is interesting and is based on rich qualitative surveys. Nevertheless, apart from the few notional deepening and/or clarification and the few additions suggested above, one main point should in our opinion be reworked: the articulation between part 3 and part 4. In the current configuration, the links between the two parts do not seem obvious enough, one rather has the impression of two distinct developments. A general development, at the national level (part 3) and 3 local case studies, but without the overall logic being sufficiently clear. The plan should therefore be rethought and reorganized in order to better highlight the original contributions of the paper, particularly in view of the fieldwork carried out. Reworking the plan and this articulation of general considerations and case studies would improve the clarity and effectiveness of the demonstration.

Round 2

Reviewer 1 Report

No comment

Author Response

There is no major comment from Reviewer 1 for the second round. The Author thanks to Reviewer for his/her supports.

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