China Strikes Deal With Fellow Mekong River Countries for Year-Round Data

China last week agreed to share year-round data from the upper Mekong River with downstream countries, where its dams are being blamed for muting the natural rhythms of one of Asia’s great waterways and adding to the pain of recent droughts.

For the past 18 years, China has been sharing rainfall and water level data from two dam sites in the upper Mekong basin, where the river begins, during the bulk of the region’s wet season, from June to October.

On Thursday it formally agreed to share the same data from the two sites all year with the Mekong River Commission, an inter-governmental body of the lower Mekong countries charged with managing the waterway. Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, which comprise the commission, have been urging Beijing to share the data for years.

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Zsombor Peter