Mekong Drought Enters Fourth Year; Worst Conditions in 60 Years

Mainland Southeast Asia is entering its fourth year of drought, with climate change and unrelenting dam construction taking an unprecedented toll on the Mekong River and the 65 million people who rely on the waterway for their livelihoods.

In Cambodia, the drought has prompted a government call to use water sparingly, particularly in rural areas, saying rainfall from the recent wet season “will not be enough to meet the immediate needs,” and a separate report adding water capacity for irrigation is operating at just 20%.

The Ministry of Water Resources also said in a recent statement that lower rainfall was predicted for this – after three years of record lows resulted in the worst river conditions for more than 60 years, punishing agricultural output and livelihoods.

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Luke Hunt