Xayaburi Hydroelectric Power Project Xayaburi00065

Water flow in Jinghong to decrease, but without significant impact downstream

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 14 Aug 2018

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 14 August 2018 — The outflow of water at the Jinghong hydropower station in China will gradually decrease by about two-fifths over a two-day period during this weekend, according to an official notification from China’s Ministry of Water Resources being copied to the Mekong River Commission Secretariat today.

In the notification, the Ministry said that starting from 18 August 2018 at 24:00, the outflow of water at the Jinghong station will start decreasing from 1,200 – 1,700 cubic meters per second (m3/s) to 504 m3/s. This amount of water flow will be restored to about 1,200 m3/s on 20 August from 24:00.

According to the MRC’s observed water level, Chiang Saen of Thailand may see about 0.50 to one meter of the decrease of water level due to the decrease of the water flow from the Jinghong station. But since this is the wet season, the change in flow of the lower reaches of the Mekong mainstream may not be obvious or cause any significant impact.

Further, based on a hydrological phenomenon, the inflow contribution of water from the upstream of Lancang-Mekong in China to the Mekong mainstream is about 16% in total during the wet season from June to October. The whole inflow of water into the lower Mekong basin is influenced more by tributaries and a direct rainfall distribution.

Such notifications by China are considered useful for downstream countries and communities to maximize their productivity along the Mekong mainstream accordingly. 

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