Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mekong surges by one metre with dam releases and rains

Mekong surges by one metre with dam releases and rains

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Children jump into the Mekong River in Phnom Penh on Monday. Heng Chivoan

Mekong surges by one metre with dam releases and rains

The Mekong River’s water levels have increased by nearly 1m over the last seven days from Stung Treng province to Prey Veng province’s Neak Luong. Levels are expected to further increase to nearly 3m due to heavy rainfall and dam releases upstream, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) reported.

“In Cambodia, water levels in the stretches from Stung Treng to Neak Luong in Prey Veng were reported to have increased by 0.85m,” MRC said in a press release on July 28. “In the next five days, levels are expected to increase to 2.60m.”

“Water levels in the Lower Mekong River Basin (LMB) increased significantly during the last seven days as a result of heavy rains and water releases from dams upstream. But levels across all monitoring stations are below their danger points,” it said.

Heavy rains in several areas of the LMB last week contributed to the rise, with river levels above their long-term averages, mostly at upper stations, noted the press release.

The region received in July about 40 per cent higher than average rainfall when compared to the same period between 2015 and 2020, it added.

“Due to heavy rains, dams in the lower Mekong, including those on tributaries, released a large volume of water from July 24–25, causing water levels to rise quickly,” said Lam Hung Son, head of the MRC Secretariat’s Regional Flood and Drought Management Centre, in the press release.

He added that it was not clear if these rises caused any damage.

“Sudden water releases from tributary dams pose a challenge to accurate forecasting of river levels,” Son said, noting that the MRC has installed 67 automatic hydrometeorological stations along the river and tributaries to collect rainfall and water level information.

Water from the Jinghong hydropower station in China’s Yunnan province will decrease by as much as 50 per cent due to construction, MRC quoted China’s Ministry of Water Resources as saying.

“Construction will result in a reduction of water outflow of 1,300 to 700 cubic metres per second from July 31 to August 20,”MRC quoted the ministry as saying.

The recorded outflow at the Jinghong dam on July 28 was 1,569 cubic metres per second, said MRC.

“We’re expecting a drop in water levels immediately downstream of the Jinghong dam,” Son said. “But this will also depend on the amount of rain we receive over the coming days.”

Chan Yutha, a spokesman at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, could not be reached for comment on July 28.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • No ‘Crown Prince’ exists to buy France football club: ministry

    The Ministry of the Royal Palace has denied media reports that a Cambodian “Crown Prince” had purchased the AS Saint Etienne football club of France’s top-flight LIGUE 1 at the cost of €100 million ($117 million). In a press statement on September 19, the ministry stressed that Cambodia

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old