Chinese Dams Unleash Mekong Waters on Laos During ‘Dry’ Season

Chinese dams on the Mekong River have begun releasing water during the river’s normal dry season, causing trouble for wildlife, farmers and fishermen in Laos, sources in the Southeast Asian country told RFA.

“The Mekong River water level is up 12 centimeters [4.7 inches] from yesterday,” an official of the Natural Resources and Environment Department of Laos’ northwestern Bokeo province told RFA’s Lao Service April 2.

According to the official, the water level in Bokeo was at 2.52 meters (99.2 inches) on April 2.

“I think the Chinese dams might be releasing water, but I’m not sure because I’ve not been officially informed,” the official said.

Fluctuating water levels in Southeast Asia’s most important waterway pose threats to aquatic plants and fish, which thousands of people living along the Mekong in Laos rely on for their livelihood.

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RFA’s Lao Service. Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Eugene Whong.