The worries and woes about the impacts of China’s dams along the Mekong River have been simmering since their construction more than two decades ago.
But there is one big difference today. Recorded data, such as that reported in the Mekong Dam Monitor online platform, describes — and confirms — that the way these dams are being operated is upsetting the river system’s natural balance and undercutting its life-sustaining rhythms such as the Mekong flood pulse.
The monitor’s data are used to issue early warnings to downstream communities about changes in river levels of half a metre or more due to releases from China’s dams, events that can lead to flooding.
JOHANNA SON/FOUNDER/EDITOR OF THE REPORTING ASEAN SERIES