Mekong River suffers as Thailand stores more water

The Mekong water level in the section which runs across Thailand is at 2.6 meters, the lowest level in the last decade. Thai Nakkhon Phanom provincial authorities have begun storing water in 13 reservoirs in 12 districts for agricultural production.

According to Le Anh Tuan, deputy head of the Climate Change Institute, the move of Thailand to store water will decrease the water supply for the lower course, and Vietnam, as the country in the lower course, will suffer the most.

Mekong River suffers as Thailand stores more water



In general, when something happens with the Mekong mainstream, the countries affected can appeal to the Mekong River Commission and ask the member countries to explain their actions.

However, the Mekong River Commission, a regional institution, is limited in power. The institution cannot release decisions to impose sanctions on countries which want to make interventions to the Mekong mainstream.

Therefore, countries in the lower course should take the initiative in applying necessary measures to mitigate damages caused by the Mekong’s water level decrease. In current conditions, the countries have no other choice than to practice thrift.

Mekong Delta is now in rainy season. It is necessary to save water with all possible means in case of drought – storing water in reservoirs, canals, and grow trees that need little water, reduce the rice growing area and increase the fruit cultivation area.

Mekong Delta is now in rainy season. It is necessary to save water with all possible means in case of drought – storing water in reservoirs, canals, and grow trees that need little water, reduce the rice growing area and increase the fruit cultivation area.

Mekong Delta is carrying out an agricultural transformation. Instead of prioritizing rice, local farmers have begun growing other crops and aquaculture. These are measures to adapt to climate change and the changes of water sources on Mekong.

Meanwhile, Dao Trong Tu, deputy chair of the Vietnam Irrigation Association, advisor to the Vietnam River Network (VRN), said it is necessary to complain to the Mekong River Commission.

Since the water level on the Mekong has decreased significantly, this not only affects Thailand, but also countries in the lower course, including Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. If Thailand stores water, the impact will be even more serious for these countries.

Tu said that in flood season, countries have the right to divert water after consulting with countries in the lower course. However, if it is done in dry season, it must be considered more thoroughly.

 

Thanh Mai

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