Category: Mekong Utility Watch

For whom the mighty Mekong flows

(March 31, 2010) The current drought is now widely declared as a water crisis by government officials in Thailand, Laos and China’s Yunnan province. And it is, but that’s not the whole story.

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When the Mekong runs dry

(March 17, 2010) Low water levels on the upper Mekong River have renewed criticism over hydropower dams China has erected on the waterway’s upper reaches. Environmental groups and governments have pinned blame on China’s inward-looking water management policies, although some experts say the real culprit is unusually severe drought conditions in southwestern China, northern Thailand and Laos.

Low level of Mekong raises concerns over water management

(March 14, 2010) The Mekong River, South-East Asia’s longest waterway, is at its lowest level in 50 years, raising questions about who is to blame – mankind or Mother Nature – for the region’s diminishing water supply. The 4,350-kilometre-long river originates in southern China and meanders through Laos and Thailand into Cambodia, where it feeds Tongle Sap Lake before reaching southern Vietnam and emptying into the South China Sea.

Severe drought puts spotlight on Chinese dams

(March 12, 2010) Environmental groups in Thailand and elsewhere lay at least part of the blame of the recent drought on China’s doorstep. They claim that China’s management of a series of dams on the Lancang has aggravated the unfolding crisis. The Thai media has helped stir up emotions; one editorial in the Bangkok Post last month was headlined "China’s dams killing Mekong." Yet Chinese engineers and some other scientists say the criticism is unfounded.

Mighty Mekong is drying up

(March 9, 2010) Resentment is simmering among Thai fishing communities along the Mekong River facing a prolonged dry spell and record-low water levels.

Local residents blame China’s dams upstream for disrupting fish and other marine life, causing a sharp drop in fish catches and in turn affecting their livelihoods.

China: Dam plans open gates to tough choices ahead

(February 25, 2010) The Nu River flows from the Tibetan highlands through China’s western Yunnan province, cutting between two mountain ranges before rushing through Burma into the Andaman Sea. It is home to a third of the country’s ethnic groups and a diverse ecosystem of 7,000 species of plants and 80 rare or endangered animals and fish. It’s also one of only two major rivers in China yet to be dammed.

The Mekong river’s last stop: Vietnam

(February 20, 2010) To help acquaint readers in the West with the importance of the Mekong, National Public Radio’s (NPR) Southeast Asia correspondent Michael Sullivan is producing a five-part series, journeying the length of the river and offering a closer look at the people who live along its banks. The fifth part of the series, "As Mekong Rolls To The Sea, Turbulence On Its Banks" is reproduced below.

The Mekong river: Cambodia’s road to success

(February 19, 2010) To help acquaint readers in the West with the importance of the Mekong, National Public Radio’s (NPR) Southeast Asia correspondent Michael Sullivan is producing a five-part series, journeying the length of the river and offering a closer look at the people who live along its banks. The fourth part of the series, "Cambodia’s Fortunes Ebb And Flow Along The Mekong" is reproduced below.

A river runs through it: the Mekong river, Thailand and Laos

(February 18, 2010) To help acquaint readers in the West with the importance of the Mekong, National Public Radio’s (NPR) Southeast Asia correspondent Michael Sullivan is producing a five-part series, journeying the length of the river and offering a closer look at the people who live along its banks. The third part of the series, "Mekong Divides Different Worlds In ‘Golden Triangle’" is reproduced below.