Mekong Nations Pressed to Share Data as Water Level Falls to New Low

The New York Times

The inter-governmental Mekong River Commission on Friday urged China and Southeast Asian countries to share more data on hydropower dam operations, as water flow in the Mekong hit record low levels for a second consecutive year.

A report by the commission attributes the low water level to two years of reduced rainfall and the operations of 13 Mekong hydropower dams – two in Laos and 11 in China – as well as dams on Mekong tributaries in Laos. The Mekong also flows through part of Myanmar.

The report said the low flow could have severe impacts on communities in its member countries – Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam – due to loss of fisheries and irrigation potential.

“We call on the six Mekong countries to increase their sharing of data and information on their dam and water infrastructure operations in a transparent and speedy manner with the MRC,” said An Pich Hatda, chief executive officer of the MRC’s secretariat.

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