By addressing the environmental, social, and ethical implications of hydropower dams, Common Currents challenges the narrative of hydropower dams as a clean, renewable energy source. The project emphasizes the significance of repairing existing landscapes and natural ecosystems while also encouraging environmental stewardship, sustainability, and ecological interdependence.
The project proposes to rebalance river flows and foster coexistence through a system of low-tech interventions and indigenous knowledge. The project addresses the environmental and social challenges posed by conventional hydropower dams on the Lower Mekong River, which is a critical source of food security and biodiversity for Southeast Asia. Located in Ban Muang Sub-district, the structure is designed to work in harmony with the disrupted water flow caused by mainstream dams. It seeks to restore local ecological balance, strengthen community resilience, and promote cross-border collaborative management of shared natural resources. The project promotes grassroots engineering by utilizing indigenous resources, knowledge, and skills to empower communities and promote self-sufficiency in energy.
Elevating sensitive ecosystems through low-tech and nature-based infrastructure, providing alternative food and energy production, and creating artificial habitats for endangered species are key strategies. The system integrates community-driven, low-impact food production with a micro-hydro system, prioritizing the care of both human and non-human inhabitants.