The Lake That Feeds The Mekong Basin Is Facing A Shortage Of Fish

NPR – In the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, where the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers meet, workers are putting the final touches on the grandstand for Bon Om Touk, the annual water festival which begins this weekend. It's a huge party—the country pretty much shuts down for the three-day holiday, with dragon boat races and plenty of drink and dance. It's a celebration of the water's bounty. Read More…

Troubles on the Mekong

Foreign Affairs – On October 29, Laos unveiled a new dam in the country’s north. The 1.3-gigawatt Xayaburi dam sits on the Mekong River, which flows the length of the country. Laos plans to build nearly a hundred like it by 2020—many with direct funding and support from China—in a bid to become “the battery of Asia,” exporting two-thirds of the energy it will generate from Read More…

Lao Citizen Scientists Manage Wetlands Sustainably

The Asia Foundation – There were no fish in the Nong Tham Hee wetland in the 2017 dry season. There were none in the 2018 dry season. The people of Nyangkham village, who once fished here year around, saw only cracked, parched earth. Over the years, the water had slowly dwindled, as farmers in the village expanded their rice paddies into the wetlands and disrupted their natural hydrology. It Read More…

River deltas are ‘drowning’, threatening hundreds of millions of…

The Conversation – The world’s river deltas take up less than 0.5% of the global land area, but they are home to hundreds of millions of people. Many live in major fast-growing cities such as Kolkata in the Ganges delta, Bangkok in the Chao Phraya delta, or Shanghai, one of dozens of large cities in the Yangtze delta region. With fertile soils and easy access to the coast, deltas are Read More…

Solar-powered vessel scoops plastics out of rivers

ECNS – Plastics have long been a problem in the world's oceans. A Dutch foundation now claims to have a solution. It tackles the menace at one of the major sources of plastic pollution – rivers. The Ocean Cleanup, an NGO that focused its efforts in clearing the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch', has unveiled a solar-powered barge that stops plastics floating in rivers from reaching open Read More…

New Mekong dam in Laos opens to protests, dried-out downstream

WKZO – The first hydropower dam on the lower Mekong River began commercial operations in Laos on Tuesday amid protests from villagers in Thailand who say the Xayaburi Dam and several others in the works will destroy their livelihoods. The 1,285-megawatt Xayaburi Dam's debut coincides with parts of the Mekong drying to a trickle even at the end of the rainy season, though its builders and Read More…

Dutch foundation launches project to tackle river plastic pollution

Reuters – A Dutch foundation devoted to fighting plastic pollution in the world’s oceans on Saturday unveiled a new device designed to stop it from reaching the sea in the first place: by collecting and cleaning plastic waste from major rivers. The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, a non-governmental organization best known for its attempts to collect and clean plastic from the “Great Pacific Read More…

Cambodia Faces Possible Food Crisis: ‘Water But No Fish’

VOA – For centuries, Cambodians have looked to Tonle Sap, both a river and a lake, for dinner. But a repast of grilled river fish, sprinkled with salt and stuffed with lemongrass, may soon be a very special event. Today, “there is only water but no fish,” said Nan Sok, 60, gazing at Tonle Sap Lake from his house on the outskirts of the capital city of Phnom Penh. A Cambodian Muslim Read More…

MRC takes note of challenges facing Mekong basin

Khmer Times – The Mekong River Commission has urged member countries and stakeholders to urgently step up measures to better manage the Mekong river to protect remaining wetlands and riverine habitats. Mr Hatda said other challenges include a growing pressure on Capture Fisheries, which refers to all kinds of harvesting of naturally occurring living resources in both marine and freshwater Read More…

Cambodia sees success in conserving rare Mekong river dolphins:…

Xin Hua Net – Cambodia has seen success in conserving the Mekong's critically endangered river dolphins, said a World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Cambodia's statement on Thursday. A last year's joint survey by the country's Fisheries Administration and WWF-Cambodia found that the number of Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphins in Cambodia had increased from 80 individuals in 2015 to 92 in 2017 and is Read More…