With the need to generate power from the upriver dams seemingly a greater priority than the livelihoods of people living in downstream communities – and with climate change an increasing concern – low water levels are set to be a recurring event in the coming years.
What we need now is expressways, which, with strong determination and swift actions, we can basically complete in around 10 or 15 years.
The Songkhram River, the last river with a slight semblance of natural flow and connectivity with the Mekong River, is threatened by one of the least transparent bureaucracies, the Royal Irrigation Department.
This year’s dearth of rain partly explains the sharp drop in water, dams built on the river in China and Laos must also take the blame for stopping water from flowing freely along the river.
These accusations mislead the readers and undermine the good atmosphere of sub-regional cooperation.
The Director-general of Electricite du Cambodge does not want to see the proposed Mekong River mainstream hydropower projects of Sambor and Stung Treng as part of the energy mix going forward.
Renewable energy will allow it to feed its growing demand for power in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner, while also allowing for greater autonomy over its national infrastructure.
A petition will be submitted to Chinese President Xi Jinping as river level fluctuations have affected the livelihoods of riverine communities and the cause comes from China.
For 9 mouths of the Mekong would flow into the South China Sea, now it’s 7 and “in the future maybe we have four or five”.