Disasters

Drought

China dam claims should be studied, says rivers official

A new report that found China’s upstream dam management is responsible for dangerously low water levels and drought conditions along the Mekong River needs to be “studied”, according to a Cambodian National Mekong Commission official. The report, titled “Monitoring the Quantity of Water Flowing Through the ...

Khy Sovuthy

New study shows China caused drought in the Mekong, local experts must have control of their resources

“No fish. Nothing. We can only catch enough to eat ourselves. We fish through the night and all we catch is one or two skewers for cooking,” a Lao fisherman told Radio Free Asia earlier this year. He spoke to journalists on his boat on the Mekong River ...

Skylar Lindsay

OPINION: China's drain on Mekong

More water discharged from Chinese dams to the lower Mekong River in the dry season and less water in the rainy season. That means a reduction of drought and flooding in the lower Mekong countries. That was the ideal “cooperation” Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam ...

Mekong river groups urge China to show transparency after dam report

Groups working to protect the Mekong River have called for greater transparency and cooperation from China after a report that Chinese dams held back water during a damaging drought in downstream countries last year. China has disputed the findings of the U.S. government-funded study and said ...

Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok, and Prak Chan Thul in Phnom Penh, and James Pearson in Hanoi; Editing by Matthew Tostevin/Mark Heinrich

How China Turned Off the Tap on the Mekong River

For three decades, China has been building dams on the upper Basin of the Mekong River, worrying countries downstream that China could one day turn off the tap. New data shows that for six months in 2019, while China received above average precipitation, its dams ...

Brian Eyler

Chinese dams held back Mekong waters during drought, study finds

China’s Mekong River dams held back large amounts of water during a damaging drought in downstream countries last year despite China having higher-than-average water levels upstream, a U.S. research company said in a study. China’s government disputed the findings, saying there was low rainfall during last ...

Kay Johnson

China Limited the Mekong’s Flow. Other Countries Suffered a Drought

As China was stricken by the coronavirus in late February, its foreign minister addressed a concerned crowd in Laos, where farmers and fishers across the Mekong River region were contending with the worst drought in living memory. His message: We feel your pain. The foreign minister, Wang Yi, ...

Hannah Beech

Thailand Faces Record Drought

The monsoon season, which usually runs from about May to October, came two weeks late in 2019 and ended three weeks early, leaving Thailand with less rainfall than usual, according to the Mekong River Commission.   That is contributing to a drought that is drying up ...

VOA News

Choked by Dams and Climate Change, the Mekong River Is on ‘Life Support’

As societies around the world focus on containing the spread of the novel coronavirus, millions of people in Southeast Asia have another worry on their minds: How to put food on their table amid a devastating drought. In Thailand, historically low levels of rainfall since last summer have ...

Elliot Waldman

Mekong Delta water shortages threaten 180,000 households

The region has suffered from drought since 2016. Five provinces have declared a state of emergency earlier this month. In most places, the Mekong is between 0.1 and 1 metre above the Eastern Sea level. Lack of rain, water use and more dams have increased ...

Peter Tran

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