Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mekong levels set to drop during power grid work



Mekong levels set to drop during power grid work

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A man casts a net into the Mekong River in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Mekong levels set to drop during power grid work

The water levels along the Mekong River in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia are set to drop due to decreased outflows at the Jinghong hydropower station in China’s Yunnan province as China conducts maintenance on its power grid infrastructure from January 5 to 24.

A statement from the inter-governmental Mekong River Commission (MRC) on January 6 announced that the maintenance would result in a reduced water flow of 1,000 cubic metres per second (m3/s) from January 5-24, citing information from China’s Ministry of Water Resources.

The flow rate will gradually return to normal from January 25, but the ministry did not specify river levels before the reduction or the volume to be restored, the statement said.

The MRC observed that the outflow level at Jinghong began decreasing from 1,410m3/s on December 31 to 768m3/s on January 1, representing a nearly 50 per cent drop. The flow rate rose slightly to 786m3/s between January 1-4.

“As a result, water levels along the Mekong River are likely to drop by about 1.2m, according to MRC’s observations and forecasting of water level data,” it said.

Water levels had already dropped by almost 2m during January 2-4 at the Chiang Saen monitoring station in Thailand, located approximately 300km downstream from Jinghong. The level is expected to rise 0.05m from January 5-11.

“In Cambodia, Mekong water levels in Stung Treng, Kratie, Kampong Cham, Phnom Penh, Koh Khel [in Kandal province] and Neak Loeung [connecting Kandal and Prey Veng provinces] did not experience any apparent decrease until January 5. The river level at these locations is expected not to change significantly, dropping only 0.03-0.07m during January 9 to 11,” the MRC said.

MRC’s Regional Flood and Drought Management Centre head Lam Hung Son said navigation activities on the Mekong River, particularly in areas near Jinghong, may be affected during this period. He said the centre will continue to monitor the situation closely.

In October, China’s water resources ministry signed an agreement with the MRC committing to share more hydrological data with Mekong countries to ensure they can prepare for potential floods and droughts.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants