Rivers and lakes

The Mekong

Why is Laos building Mekong dams it doesn't need?

Thailand’s economic slump during the coronavirus pandemic led to a drop in electricity demand, with Thai officials estimating power reserves currently at 50% over total capacity.  However, despite the Thai surplus, hydroelectric dams are still being developed next door in Laos, Thailand’s top provider of electricity. Critics say the dam projects are not driven ...

Emmy Sasipornkarn

In the Face of Criticism, Laos Pushes Ahead With Four Mekong Dams

As a struggling least developed country, Laos stands alone when it comes to ignoring common sense and pushing ahead with infrastructure development that it can ill-afford and is unlikely to deliver its much hoped-for rags to riches outcome. Energy and Mines Minister Sinavav Souphanouvong made that ...

Luke Hunt

Opinion: Tensions rise along the Mekong as science meets strategy

China has been ramping up its investments with the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanism, which – according to American officials – is an attempt to compete with the Mekong River Commission (MRC). A competition over who dominates scientific and technical knowledge of the river indicates an escalation in the complexity of challenges ...

Giulio Boccaletti

Mekong 'dammed' by uncertainty

Last week, it was reported that Chinese authorities notified the Mekong River Commission (MRC) that Jinghong Dam in Yunnan province will reduce its rate of water discharge by half from the beginning of the month until late January. For communities living along the Mekong, unusual ...

NIWAT ROYKAEW

Mekong dam: China cuts river flow 50 per cent, is slammed for lack of warning

China’s decision to hold back the Mekong River’s water flow at a hydropower dam for close to a month will disrupt fisheries and local livelihoods along the waterway that is a lifeline for 60 million people, watchers and activists have warned. The Chinese water resources ministry ...

Catherine Wong and Maria Siow

Mekong drowned in water politics

The mighty Mekong River is the heart and soul of Southeast Asia. Millions of livelihoods are linked to it, especially in terms of food, energy and water security. Besides giving birth to one of the planet’s most biodiverse river basins, the transboundary nature of the ...

EDITORIAL

China Belatedly Notifies Mekong Nations of River Disruption

Earlier this week, I wrote about the sudden drop in water levels along the Mekong River in northern Thailand, and their likely link to the filling of a dam reservoir upstream in China. The fall first became apparent on January 4, when locals in the Thai port town ...

Sebastian Strangio

China notifies Mekong River neighbours it is holding back waters

China has notified downstream neighbours it is holding back the Mekong River flow at a hydropower dam on the waterway’s upper reaches for 20 days, as part of a new data-sharing pact, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and Thailand said on Wednesday. The statements came a ...

Panu Wongcha-um, Kay Johnson

Lao Dams Lower Water Levels on a Scenic River, Harming Tour Boat Operators and Other Local Businesses

Water levels lowered by seven dams along a stretch of the Nam Ou River in Laos are blocking boat travel in a scenic area popular with tourists, impacting tour and passenger boat operators and other local businesses, Lao sources say. Travel by water between Nong Khiaw ...

Reported by RFA’s Lao Service. Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Richard Finney

Mekong river at lowest level this year

The water level in the Mekong river has dropped quickly and was only about 1.90 metres deep in this northeastern border province on Monday, the lowest this year. The lack of water is being blamed on the many dams upstream in China, and this year’s poor ...

PATTANAPONG SRIPIACHAI

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