No extreme water releases are planned for dam operations, says China
29 September 2014, Vientiane, LAO PDR—Mekong water levels have remained below flood levels within the last week despite rainfall in Southern China and the Lower Mekong Basin. Following a request for information on their planned dam operations, China’s Ministry of Water Resources has informed the MRC that no extreme water releases are planned that would cause floods in the downstream reaches of the Mekong. According to Chinese authorities any discharges will be appropriately controlled below a volume of 4,500 cubic metres per second. So far monitored discharged rates from the Jinghong dam are far below the rate of 7,000 cubic metres per second which is what the MRC’s modelling simulations suggest could cause overflows downstream. In the event of a significant alteration in their reservoir operations, the Chinese authorities will inform the MRC in advance.
Rainfall volume and the current release of water from the Jinghong dam in China in the past weeks have not triggered flood concerns in the downstream reaches of the Mekong River for the upcoming week, and water levels along the Mekong banks in the upper parts of Thailand and Lao PDR are still below flood levels, according to the MRC available data and forecast.
The MRC forecasts that in the next 5 days, water levels at most monitoring stations will remain below flood levels, therefore there is currently no flood warning.
Rainfall in the Upper and Lower Mekong regions is expected to continue until November. The MRC monitors daily water levels along 23 stations on different reaches of the Mekong mainstream, from Southern China to Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam and provides daily updates on the websites: www.mcmekong.org andhttp://ffw.mrcmekong.org. Five-day water level forecasts for each station are also provided. Warnings will be given on the website and to national government agencies once water levels at certain stations reach alarming or flood levels.
Notes to editors:
The MRC is the intergovernmental body responsible for cooperation on the sustainable management of the Mekong Basin whose members include Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. It is established to promote cooperation amongst the Member Countries and thus it is not a supra-national or regulatory body.
In dealing with this challenge, the commission looks across all sectors including sustaining fisheries, identifying opportunities for agriculture, maintaining the freedom of navigation, flood management and preserving important ecosystems. Superimposed on these are the future effects of more extreme floods, prolonged drought and sea level rise associated with climate change. In providing its advice, the MRC aims to facilitate a broad range of dialogue among governments, the private sector and civil society.
The MRC Secretariat provides technical, advisory and administrative services to the member states. It facilitates regional meetings of the Member Countries and provides technical advice on joint planning, coordination and cooperation. It also works closely with the four countries’ coordinating bodies, the National Mekong Committees (NMCs), and other state agencies. Currently, the People’s Republic of China and the Union of Myanmar are engaged as MRC Dialogue Partners.