Credits: Marco Ryan, Bart Verweij, Achariya Kohtbantau
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Improving Water Quality in Laos
In many ways, Laos, one of Southeast Asia's most remote countries, is at the epicenter of regional debate over water and environmental sustainability. More than 85 percent of land in Laos lies within the Mekong River Basin, and communities rely on their rivers to survive. Indeed, the future of this land-locked nation's economic development depends on the future of its rich natural resources. But, until now, very little empirical data about how the environment is actually changing in Laos has been available. In 2008, The Asia Foundation started the first-ever water quality monitoring program that creates simple, effective tools that communities can use to gauge environmental change and help protect their rivers.