Decision Support Tools

Reservoir Assessment Tool for Lower Mekong Basin (RAT-Mekong)

RAT-Mekong is a web application for forecasting hydrologic impacts and operating patterns of existing and planned reservoirs in the Lower Mekong Region.

Ubol Ratana Dam

The Reservoir Assessment Tool for the Lower Mekong Basin (RAT-Mekong)  supports the Mekong River Commission and its member countries with reservoir monitoring. It enables decision making and planning processes for flood, and drought management in the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB). Reservoir monitoring includes reservoir state of storage change, surface area, inflow and outflow, and inferred reservoir rule curve (based on long-term records).

The RAT-Mekong tool, which is open-source, replicable and scalable, aims to mitigate the challenges of data-scarce or data-restricted regions of the Mekong Basin and help the MRC and its member countries derive a broader picture of reservoir monitoring, reservoir operations and the potential impact of operations on floods, drought, natural river flow variability as a function of climate, hydrologic regime, and socio-economic indicators. With transboundary water resource management being a contentious topic in the Mekong region, this tool can facilitate transboundary regional cooperation and governance by providing unbiased data for all parties, needed to drive a fair and transparent water-sharing agreement and improving the decision-making on flood and drought management in the Lower Mekong in the Lower Mekong Region.

Application Purpose


To provide near-real-time reservoir monitoring information including regularly estimating changes in reservoir storage, surface area, inflows, outflows, and inferred reservoir rule curve (Bonnema et al., 2016; 2017). This supports decision making, and planning process for drought and flood management in the Lower Mekong Basin.

Application Uses

Reservoir monitoring, water resources management, flood and drought management

Geographic Region
Lower Mekong Region
  • University of Washington,
  • University of Houston
  • Mekong River Commission (MRC)

Mekong River Commission (MRC)

Earth Observations and NASA Products Used


  • Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) 30 m resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM)  
  • USGS Landsat 8 Collection 1 Tier 1 and Real-Time data Raw Scenes 
  • Sentinel-1 SAR GRID: C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar Ground Range Detected
  • Sentinel-2 MSI: Multispectral Instrument, Level-1C
  • FAO Harmonized World Soil Database 
  • USGS Global Land Cover Characteristics (GLCC) Land Cover Database
  • Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station (CHIRPS) precipitation 
  • Maximum and minimum temperature, and average wind speed at 10m height from NOAA NCEP/Climate Prediction Center