Xayaburi Hydroelectric Power Project Xayaburi00065 v2

Water flow from China’s Jinghong dam to decrease

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 06 Aug 2019

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 6 August 2019 –– The outflow of water from the Jinghong hydropower station in China’s Yunnan province will decrease by about 25-45 percent over five days, according to an official notification from China’s Ministry of Water Resources being copied to the Mekong River Commission Secretariat on Monday.

In the notification, the Ministry said the amount of water from the Jinghong dam will start decreasing from 1,100 cubic meters per second (m3/s) to about 600-800m3/s from August 11 – 15 before it will be gradually returned to the original level.

The decrease is made for the “maintenance for the transmission lines of the power grid,” the notification said. The Jinghong dam lies on the upper part of the Mekong River, where it is known as the Lancang in China.

Based on the MRC’s monitoring, water levels along the Mekong River have slowly risen, thanks to the increase of rainfall starting from the last week of July.

The overall water level uptick has centered around most sections in the main channel of the lower Mekong basin, with an average increase of about 1.50 meters since the beginning of August. But none of them has reached its historical long-term average (1980-2018) yet, except the sections at Lao PDR’s Luang Prabang and Thailand’s Chiang Khan, where the water is now close to their average levels.

With the water flow reduction from the Jinghong dam, some of the stations in the lower basin are expected to have some impact. For example, Chiang Saen – located approximately 300km away from Jinghong – would see its water level decrease by about 0.30m on August 13.  From Luang Prabang to Pakse of Lao PDR, a decrease of about 0.10 – 0.20m would be expected. 

But above-normal rainfall is also forecast during August 14 – 20. The rain is expected in the middle part of the lower Mekong basin from Luang Prabang to Pakse down to the floodplain area of the Mekong delta in Cambodia and Viet Nam, according to satellite rainfall forecast of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Flood Alert System of the United States of America.

“We expect more rainfall with an approximate amount of 150-200 mm over the basin in the period of August to September, which would help lessen the situation and in turn contribute to the rise of the Mekong water and wetter soil moisture,” said Dr. Sothea Khem, River Forecasting Specialist of the MRC Secretariat.

The June-July’s relatively rapid and sustained decrease in water flow made the Mekong river experience one of the lowest water levels ever recorded, with drought being reported in the basin.

But the drought situation this year is considered not as bad as that in 2015-2016.

In the 2015-2016 drought, for example, about 2.5 million people in Cambodia were lack of water, and about 18 out of 25 provinces in the country were experiencing water shortage.

In May 2016, the Government of Thailand declared that 35 provinces were under serious water shortage. Salinity intrusion in Viet Nam reached 90km, affecting 70% of agricultural land in the South.

More information about water levels on the Mekong mainstream can be found at: http://ffw.mrcmekong.org/bulletin_wet.php.

 

Note to editors:

The MRC is an intergovernmental organization for regional dialogue and cooperation in the lower Mekong river basin, established in 1995 based on the Mekong Agreement between Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. The organization serves as a regional platform for water diplomacy as well as a knowledge hub of water resources management for the sustainable development of the region. Both China and Myanmar are Dialogue Partners of the MRC.

 

- END -  

For more information, please contact:
Mr. Sopheak Meas
Communication Officer for Press
Mekong River Commission Secretariat
Vientiane, Lao PDR
e: sopheak@mrcmekong.org
p: +856-21-263263, ext. 4012
m: +856-20-77779168 

###

Latest News

Prior Consultation process starting date for Luang Prabang project agreed

The Mekong River Commission’s Joint Committee Working Group (JCWG) for the Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA) has agreed on the official starting date of a six-month prior consultation process for the 1,460-megawatt Luan

MRC, Morocco concretize cooperation, eying for a regional educational visitor center in Laos

The Mekong River Commission and the Moroccan government last week brought their cooperation in renewable energy and eco-tourism to a new level as they sought to strengthen the existing partnership.

Laos to undertake prior consultation for Luang Prabang hydropower project

The Lao Government will undertake the Mekong River Commission’s prior consultation process for the Luang Prabang hydropower project located between the proposed Pak Beng project on the upstream and the nearly completed downstream Xayaburi project. The run

Public hearing from Mississippi, an example to increase community participation in a systematic structure

The Public Hearing would make a good example for the MRC to consider for its public consultation and outreach activities to public from national to regional levels, especially for the update and implementation of basin-wide strategies and the Prior Notifi

Interactive report for the Council Study

The interactive report for the Council Study is the first interactive version for the MRC reports. It leads audience through main conclusions linking to detailed assessments in the technical Council Study reports ...


Media Contact

For media inquires, please contact:
Sopheak Meas: sopheak@mrcmekong.org
Le Thi Huong Lien: huonglien@mrcmekong.org or
mrcmedia@mrcmekong.org or view the Contact page here