Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mekong levels to drop due to Jinghong power station testing

Mekong levels to drop due to Jinghong power station testing

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Water levels in the Mekong River are expected to drop due to outflows from China’s Jinghong hydropower station. Mekong River Commission

Mekong levels to drop due to Jinghong power station testing

Water levels in the Mekong River that traverses Cambodia, Thailand, and Lao PDR are expected to drop due to outflows from China’s Jinghong hydropower station, which would be decreased by more than 50 per cent for dam equipment testing from January 1-4, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) said.

“In Cambodia, the water levels along the Mekong River in Stung Treng, Kratie, Kompong Cham, Phnom Penh, Koh Khel and Neak Luong will drop from 0.02-0.25m from January 15-18,” the MRC said on Tuesday.

Navigation along the Mekong River, especially for those near the Jinghong station, may be affected during this period, said Sothea Khem, the MRC Secretariat’s River Forecasting Specialist.

“Some local livelihood activities such as river weed harvesting may also be disrupted. The tests come at a time when the Mekong countries are experiencing severe drought,” he said.

A China Ministry of Water Resources’ notification said the power station equipment testing would cause water outflow from the dam to drop from 1,200-1,400 cubic metres per second to between 800-1,000 cubic metres per second from January 1-3.

The notification said: “The amount of water flow will be further reduced to its lowest point of 504-800 cubic metres per second on January 4 before it is restored to its original volumes.”

Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology spokesman Chan Yutha and Cambodia National Mekong Committee permanent vice-chairman Te Navuth could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The MRC announced in November last year that drought had caused the Mekong water levels to drop to its lowest point over the past 60 years.

Most of the areas along the Mekong River had experienced unusual low water flows since June. However, it was expected that the drought situation would improve gradually from the second week of January as the weather would then become a little wet.

In December last year, the MRC Secretariat and China’s Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Centre (LMC Water Centre) signed the first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to better the management of the Mekong River.

Both sides agreed to undertake a joint study on last year’s drought and the Mekong River Basin’s low water flow conditions. The study will cover both the Lower Mekong River and Upper Mekong River basin in China, where it is known as Lancang.

The joint research, which will begin this January and end in September, aims to identify the causes and effects of drought and low water flow conditions last year.

MOST VIEWED

  • All foreigners' accommodations to be inspected: Sar Kheng

    The Ministry of Interior is undertaking a serious effort to inspect all the accommodations of foreigners in Cambodia – except diplomats – in order to find and identify human traffickers. Minister Sar Kheng said this would include inspections on the homes of foreigners employed by businesses, private

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • NBC eyes KHQR payments in Laos, Vietnam

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is working with Lao and Vietnamese authorities to expand the use of KHQR code cross-border payment systems to promote trade and investment as well as increase the scope of regional economic linkages, and in particular, facilitate remittances from overseas