China commits to share year-round water data with Mekong River Commission; benefits Asean countries


A sunset scenery of Luang Prabang on the riverside of Mekong River in Laos. - Xinhua

BANGKOK, Oct 25 (Reuters): China has signed an agreement with the Mekong River Commission (MRC) to share year-round data on the flow of its portion of the vital waterway amid concern that Chinese dams may be causing drought downstream in South-East Asia.

A push for more data from China's portion of the Mekong River - which Beijing calls the Lancang River - intensified this year after U.S. government criticism that 11 Chinese dams were "hoarding" water and hurting livelihoods downstream, an accusation Beijing denies.

"This agreement is a landmark in the history of China-MRC cooperation," An Pich Hatda, the MRC Secretariat Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement.

He added that data-sharing is critical to the management of the Mekong, on which 60 million people depend for fishing and farming in downstream countries Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Two years of record drought on the 4,350-km (2,700-mile) waterway have severely harmed livelihoods and raised questions over how mainstream Mekong dams in China and downstream in Laos were affecting the flow of water.

China has for 18 years shared water during the June to October monsoon season with the MRC - an advisory body to member countries Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam - to provide early flood warnings.

However, with drought an increasing concern, the MRC has been seeking year-round data to help analyse what may be causing the river's low flow.

China's prime minister in August pledged to provide more data, but it previously had been unclear whether it would come through Beijing's own Lancang-Mekong Cooperation body or the 25-year-old MRC.

The new agreement will see China provide year-round data from two hydrological stations in Yunnan Province, including rainfall and river level data, the MRC said.

China also agreed to report any unusual rise or fall in water levels, it said. - Reuters
Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In Aseanplus News

How RCEP benefits Singaporeans and businesses
No decision yet on KL-Spore high-speed rail: Malaysia
S.Korea foils N. Korea attempt to hack Covid-19 vaccine makers
Indonesia signs coal shipment contract with Chinese traders
Pakistan shelling kills 3 Indian soldiers in Kashmir: India
China has over 700,000 5G base stations: official
Indian firm to make Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine
No year-end bonus for Singapore civil servants
Vietnam returns eight Cambodian women tricked into illegal China work
AstraZeneca likely to run new global trial on Covid-19 vaccine

Stories You'll Enjoy