Surface water

Rivers and lakes

Mekong basin water levels back to normal long-term averages

The Mekong River Commission(MRC) yesterday said the water levels across the vast majority of lower Mekong basin have now returned to their normal long-term averages. The announcement was made after the MRC last month called member countries and Dialogue Partners to improve the management of the ...

Ben Sokhean

China held water back from drought-stricken Mekong countries, report says

Last year, while parts of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and southern Vietnam experienced a devastating drought, China held abundant water on the Upper Mekong River back from downstream communities, wiping out crops and fishing stock and bringing one of the world’s great waterways to its knees. At ...

Michael Tatarski

China could have choked off the Mekong and aggravated a drought, threatening the lifeline of millions in Asia

China’s upstream activities along the Mekong River have long been contentious — but a recent study has sparked fresh scrutiny over its dam-building exercises, reigniting warnings that millions of livelihoods could be destroyed. A U.S.-government funded study by research and consulting firm, Eyes on Earth, found that Chinese dams ...

Huileng Tan

Mekong dams destroy Tonle Sap Lake

As the Tonle Sap floodplain empties into the Mekong this spring, the Cambodians who rely on these waters face bleak prospects, with fish catches reportedly 10 to 20% of previous years. Blame for the precipitous decline in the ecology has been put on the many hydropower projects ...

Tyler Roney

China's dams exacerbated extreme drought in lower Mekong: Study

Southeast Asian countries would have likely experienced a much less severe drought last year if it were not for China’s dams, a new study says, prompting a pushback from the intergovernmental Mekong River Commission (MRC). The 4,000-km (2,485-mile) Mekong is one of the world’s longest rivers – ...

Leonie Kijewski

‘Us’ vs ‘them’: The politics dictating the rise and fall of the Mekong

Cracked riverbeds, empty fishing nets and, snaking its way through the parched landscape, a beautifully clear, blue-tinted river. This was the view of the mighty Mekong River earlier this year, when record-low water levels revealed a striking vulnerability to the main artery of Southeast Asia, a ...


Science Shows Chinese Dams Are Devastating the Mekong

Eleven massive dams straddle the mighty Mekong River before it leaves China and flows into Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and on into Vietnam. Yet I have long been skeptical  that China could use those 11 upstream dams, massive as they are, to turn off the ...


Data sharing, cooperation for Mekong River management

The greater data sharing, transparency and cooperation between Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam and dialogue partners will improve management of the Mekong River, the Mekong River Commission said. The MRC said, in its 13-page long commentary note on a 2020 study exploring the effect of Chinese ...

Pech Sotheary

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

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