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Mekong record low raises hydropower questions

Source(s):  China Dialogue


The Mekong River Commission (MRC), an intergovernmental organisation set up to jointly manage water resources, confirmed that the water level in many stretches,including at Chiang Khan, Chiang Sean and Vientiane, had dropped below the historic rainy season low of 1992.

During the worst period in mid July, the water at Chiang Khan was four metres deep instead of the normal 11.

MRC put this down to low rainfall and a reduction in water being discharged from the Jinghong Dam in China’s Yunnan province, as scheduled maintenance work took place in July. Estimates of the amount of river water that reaches Chiang Khan via the dam vary from 10 to 30% of the total. Determining what proportion of the historic low is due to the drought and what proportion the dam is extremely difficult.


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  • Publication date 23 Sep 2019

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