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China increases water release to help Mekong basin countries

Jan 24. 2020
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By The Nation

China has agreed to increase the rate of water release from Lan Chang River from 850 cubic metres per second to 1000 cubic metres per second in order to meet the urgent needs of Thailand and other countries in the Mekong River Basin.

The Chinese government reportedly is willing to cooperate with countries in the Mekong River Basin to share water resources information, strengthening cooperation to overcome the drought situation, according to the statement issued by the  China Embassy in Bangkok. 

China is reportedly helping Thailand in the time of need due to the strong relations between the two nations.

Since 2019, rainfall in the Lan Chang-Mekong River basin has continuously decreased as a result of climate change, causing severe drought situations in China and many others along the Mekong River basin.

At Lan Chang River in China, the average precipitation is 728 millimetres, 34 per cent lesser than usual. Until January 21, 2020, agricultural areas in 1.07 million villages (450,000 rai) were affected by the drought because of the shortage of water in 15 rivers and 43 dams in Yunnan province of China.

Some 2.9 million people and livestock face a drinking water crisis since the water level at various dams has hit the lowest point compared to a similar situation in previous years. If the drought continues to prolong, Yunnan province will face a critical situation of having no usable water.

The Chinese government has put its best efforts to maintain the amount of water released from the Lan Chang River, the statement added. 

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