Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - MRC calls for transparent hydrological data sharing

MRC calls for transparent hydrological data sharing

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Mekong river in Kratie province. China says it will provide more help for Mekong countries to make better use of water resources. Post Staff

MRC calls for transparent hydrological data sharing

The Mekong River Commission Secretariat (MRCS) on Tuesday welcomed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s pledge to share year-round hydrological data with Mekong countries.

But in a press release issued a day after the virtual Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Leaders’ summit, MRCS’ CEO An Pich Hatda also urged China to clarify what data is to be included and how it would be shared.

“To make effective use of the data for the benefit of all the Mekong countries and their peoples, it will be important to discuss exactly what the data includes and how it is to be shared,” he said.

The MRCS said China has since 2003 provided only water-level and rainfall data from two hydrological stations on the Upper Mekong mainstream – one at Jinghong and the other on a tributary at Manan. But it said the data was only shared during the flood season from June to October.

Hatda said while the MRCS supports all the Mekong countries including China and Myanmar in working together to establish a platform, he urged the MRCS’s four members in the lower reaches of the Mekong River – Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam – to capitalise on its culture of collaboration and harness the existing, long-established platform.

He said the Lower Mekong Basin countries already have an operational Data and Information Sharing Platform in place. But what is missing, he said, is the same level of data and information from the Upper Mekong countries – China and Myanmar. He said China has shared limited data during the flood season.

“Any future data and information to be shared by the MRC Member Countries under the [MLC] framework should be developed in close collaboration with the MRCS so that we can connect the two platforms effectively,” he said.

He said any future platform development should not overlook the knowledge base and system that the MRC has built and promoted over the past six decades since the Mekong Committee was founded in 1957.

He said the process of establishing such a platform was complex, lengthy, costly, and more difficult to maintain.

Speaking during the third MLC summit, Li said China has directly provided flood-season hydrological data and offered timely updates on upstream flow changes to the Mekong countries.

Despite its own difficulties, he said China increased outbound water flow in the drought season to help the downstream countries mitigate droughts.

He said China was ready to provide more help for the Mekong countries to make better use of water resources.

“China will work with the [Mekong] countries to establish a Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Information Sharing Platform to help us better tackle climate change and natural disasters such as floods and droughts,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted