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Growing cooperation and deepening technical exchanges between China and the Mekong River Commission

11th Aug 2017

A delegation of Chinese hydrological experts visited national Mekong committees in Cambodia and Thailand from 24 to 31 May 2017. Led by Mr Kuang Jian, Division Director for Bureau of Hydrology, Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) the delegation consisted of six experts from the MWR, Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute and the Bureau of Hydrology for Yunnan Province.

visit of Chinese Delegation to Cambodia and ThailandChina has long been sharing hydrological information during the flood season for the Lancang/Mekong River as part of an agreement between their MWR and the MRC. In exchange, experts from the MRC have visited the Jinghong and Manan hydrological stations in China numerous times over the past few years. The visit thus further deepened mutual understanding and promoted technical exchanges and cooperation on hydrology between the two sides, through field visits to typical hydrological stations on the Mekong mainstream.

In Cambodia, the delegation had a meeting with Mr Long Saravuth, Deputy Secretary General of Cambodian National Mekong Committee before the visits to two hydrological stations on the Mekong River and Tonle Sap River. They also visited a station in Siem Reap Province which measures various hydrological data and is the only station that sends its data directly to the MRCS server by satellite. Looking at the needs of Cambodia, the delegation said China would consider supporting short and long-term trainings for Cambodian hydromet officers as well as supplying discounted hydromet measurement and collection equipment.

In the Thai portion of the journey, the delegation went to the Chiang Sean Hydrological station, the first station in the Mekong mainstream downstream from China, to learn about the MRC-HYCOS project and the operation of the automated equipment at the station which transmits data to the MRCS server every 15 minutes. They also travelled to the Chiang Sean Hydrological Survey Centre and listened to an overview from the Thai National Mekong Committee (TNMC) on how they observe water levels and measure discharge, sediment and river cross section surveys and also viewed  flood markings from the Chiang Sean area.

Chinese DelegationDuring the visit, TNMC expressed the wish for China to inform them by official notification at least a week before any event that would cause a decrease or increase in release flows from the Jing Hong reservoir. TNMC proposed the MRC and China to review and extend their MOU in order to provide more hydrological data in the dry season period.

The near real-time data provided by China has enabled the MRC Member Countries in the Lower Mekong — Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam — to strengthen their river water-level monitoring and improve the accuracy of flood forecasting as well as mitigate the negative effects of flooding. This visit is expected to carry on the solid foundation for mutual understanding between the neighbours and also continue the smooth cooperation on sharing hydrological data.

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