China pressed on Mekong dams after record low water levels


China was pressed Tuesday to show more transparency over its dam operations on the Mekong River, months after downstream water levels hit record lows and threatened millions of livelihoods.

Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam all battled severe drought last year as the tide of the river fell to record lows—exposing rocks, killing fish and threatening millions of livelihoods.

But the dams along the waterway in China—where the river is known as the Lancang—held “above-average natural flow” at the same time, according to satellite imagery published by US monitor Eyes on Earth in April.

The extreme low flows showed the need for China to publish timely data from its dams so its neighbours can forecast bad conditions, the intergovernmental Mekong River Commission (MRC) said in a Tuesday statement.

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