Vientiane, Lao PDR, 14th Jul 2016 - 14th Jul 2016
Vientiane, Lao PDR, 14 July 2016 – The Mekong River Commission (MRC) and the Compagnie National du Rhône (CNR) held a regional consultation to present their work plan for the expansion of the Mekong-Hydro Meteorological Cycle Observation System, better known as Mekong-HYCOS, to improve flood and drought forecasting and data application in other areas such as fisheries, agriculture and navigation.
This is the second phase of the existing system, launched in 2007 with funding from the French government. During the first phase (2007-2012), the MRC set up 49 hydro-meteorological stations along the Mekong River and its tributaries to collect near-real time data of water level and rainfall every 15 minutes, and share it with the member countries for their respective flood forecasting and river monitoring networks.
In December 2015, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) provided 1 million euro (approximately USD1,110,000) for the second phase (2016-2017) in which the MRC, in partnership with CNR, will add 8 stations along the mainstream to improve the understanding of the river’s dynamics and to apply the data to other areas of water resources management. CNR will offer technical support including coordination with other international partners such as engineers in charge of water management, experts in monitoring system, researchers in climate, hydrometeorology, hydrology and applied statistics.
At the three-day consultation, the experts discussed, proposed and agreed on the work plan and main activities of the new phase that include, data collection, analysis, information sharing from other river basins, discharge and sediment monitoring, improvement of data usage, regional analysis of the river flow regime, and the development of statistical hydrological programme software. The project is scheduled for completion in mid 2017.