05 Mar 2018
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 5 March 2018 – A team of specialists from the Mekong River Commission Secretariat reported key findings from the MRC’s flagship study to more than 60 representatives from Cambodia National Mekong Committee and its line ministries and agencies at a national high-level briefing and dissemination meeting held in Phnom Penh late last week.
Findings from the Council Study, or the Study on Sustainable Management and Development of the Mekong River, that were presented at the meeting on February 28 predict that water infrastructure development, such as hydropower projects, may likely contribute to almost half of the combined sector growth in the Mekong River basin over the next 20 years. But these projects also pose adverse impacts to the river’s ecosystems, putting its sustainability at risk.
The study shows that reduction in sediment and nutrient transport downstream caused by hydropower projects in the Mekong basin including China is expected to reduce soil fertility, rice production and fish yields. This will make the Cambodia floodplains and the Tonle Sap system and the Mekong delta in Viet Nam most vulnerable.
“We welcome the study’s findings. We believe that the problems presented in the study would be best addressed through close collaboration among all the member countries in a manner that puts the basin’s people in the front line,” Mr. Bun Hean, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology and Permanent Vice Chairperson of Cambodia National Mekong Committee, said in the meeting.
The water outflows at the Jinghong hydropower station in China will be reduced by more than 50% due to dam equipment testing from 1 – 4 January 2020, affecting river water levels in Thailand, Lao PDR and Cambodia.
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