Frequent question: Why is China Damming the Mekong?

Why is China building dams on the Mekong River?

As Southeast Asia adapts to climate change, reservoirs developed for hydropower and flood-control dams can be useful in irrigation projects, and have the potential to assist with water supply given dramatic changes between the dry and wet seasons.

Is China Damming the Mekong?

Environmentalists and experts blame 11 dams China has built on the Upper Mekong within its borders, which they say are contributing to historic flooding and droughts that have damaged fish spawning areas and upended people’s lives.

What is China doing to the Mekong River?

Analysts say Chinese officials are diverting so much water from dams along the upper Mekong River system that Southeast Asian countries are going dry during prime agricultural seasons and turning to other powers for help.

Why is Mekong important to China?

In addition to providing water for populations in the highlands of southern China, the Mekong helps support some 60 million people downstream in Southeast Asia, where the river is a key component of agricultural production and economic development.

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Are China’s rivers drying up?

The biggest river in China is drying up. After examining decades of records from ground stations and satellite images, government researchers estimate that the average level of the Yangtze River has fallen by about 2cm (0.8 inches) every five years since the 1980s.

How many dams is China building?

The world’s highest arch dam, highest concrete face rock fill dam, and highest compacted concrete dam are all located in China. China has built 20 large reservoirs (≥10 billion m3 in capacity) or high dams (≥200m in height) (refer to Table 2 for details).

How many dams does China have on the Mekong?

Share: Since 1993, China has built six dams in the mainstream on the Upper Mekong Basin, known as the Lancang in China. Operations of these dams have stirred many concerns from the Lower Mekong Basin communities on how these dams will impact their river and livelihoods.

Is the Mekong River Drying Up?

“The Mekong River is dry because of the dams. The more dams we have, the drier the river will become. Nobody is trying to compensate us and mitigate the problem,” said a Thai villager who lives along the Mekong in Loei province.

How many dams does the Mekong have?

China has constructed 11 hydropower dams, of which two are large storage dams, along the mainstream in the Upper Mekong Basin. Another 11 dams, each with production capacity of over 100 MW, are being planned or constructed.


Year Title
2015 Scoping report of regional benefit sharing in the Mekong
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How China turned off the tap on the Mekong River?

In the 1990s when China built the first dam on the upper Mekong, many speculated that China could use its dams to restrict water from the Mekong downstream, effectively turning off the tap for the countries which rely on the Mekong’s provisions for economic stability and security.

Why is the Mekong dry?

It is November, the end of the monsoon season, yet the water in the Mekong river is perilously low. On this stretch, in north-eastern Thailand, the bank is so parched the earth has cracked, and once-leafy bushes are bone dry.

Is the Mekong River polluted?

The Mekong is one of the most polluted rivers in the world, transporting an estimated 40 thousand tonnes of plastic into the world’s oceans each year.

Why is the Mekong River so important?

Winding almost 3,000 miles from the Tibetan plateau down to the South China Sea, the Mekong River boasts the world’s largest inland fishery. It accounts for up to 25 percent of the global freshwater catch and provides livelihoods for at least 60 million people.

How was the Mekong River formed?

Granite samples collected from the Mekong River Valley reveal that the river’s path was incised roughly 17 million years ago, most likely by increased erosion from monsoon precipitation.