Eight Chinese dams block 40 billion cubic meters of water from Mekong River

(Photo) International Rivers

The eight dams in China, which were built on the Mekong River, or Lancang as it is called in China, have been blamed as the chief culprit in the sharp fall in water levels downstream and the resulting hardships caused to people in lower riparian countries, according to the Mekong Butterfly, a civic group that studies the impacts of dams constructed along the Mekong river.

From its studies, the group said that the eight dams have blocked a combined total of over 40 billion cubic metres of water for use in electricity generation, irrigation and other purposes and they are the main cause of unnatural flows of the river, affecting the livelihoods of the people living along the river.

The group said that the lowest water level was observed when the Jinghong dam, in China’s Yunnan province, cut the water flow rate through the dam to 500 cubic metres/second. The flow was increased to 1,000 cubic metres/second on July 18th.

The water levels in several northern and northeastern provinces of Thailand, however, remain at record lows, making navigation, fishing and pumping of water for consumption impossible.

The group claim they have been demanding that the government to step in to address the problem, but without success.



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