Mekong River levels higher after low flow, drought

THE Mekong River passing several countries in South-East Asia has recorded higher water levels this year after four straight years of low flow and droughts.

Over the first four months of 2022, the river level was recorded at the highest in several years in part as a result of increased rainfall, the local daily Vientiane Times reported yesterday, citing data from the Mekong River Commission (MRC).

As a result, greater flows of sediment and nutrients should boost fish stocks, improve agriculture and benefit some 70 million people in riverine communities, according to the MRC.

However, the water level rise “doesn’t eliminate the risk of moderate drought,” Winai Wangpimool, director of the MRC Technical Support Division, was quoted as saying.

MRC figures showed water levels across the Lower Mekong River Basin remain below the 60-year average from 1961 to 2021.

Climate change has also posed a challenge, according to CEO of the MRC Secretariat, Anoulak Kittikhoun. — Xinhua

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