Families and livelihoods along the river depend on the river and its resources. Families need the income and food generated through activities such as fisheries and gardening. For most people in the Mekong basin, livelihoods are complex, and often include a mixture of employment income, as well as subsistence farming or fishing activities such as growing food or fishing.
The activities undertaken by households vary seasonally. The Mekong River ecology, and in particular the seasonal flood-pulse and the dry season, determines how these activities vary throughout the year. At times rice-farming dominates the activities, while at other times, fishing is more important.