Research breaks China’s `black box` of secrets about the Mekong River

Research breaks China's `black box` of secrets about the Mekong River 0
Research breaks China's `black box` of secrets about the Mekong River 0

(Dan Tri) – China stores a lot of water upstream of the Mekong River and limits its release, causing erratic changes in water levels downstream, including severe drought in Vietnam.

The Mekong River water level is currently often low and the frequency of droughts is increasing downstream.

The above information was given in a study on the Mekong River published by the Stimson Research Center (USA) in April, based on data from the company Eyes on Earth Inc (USA) specializing in water research, and also

In the report titled `How China Blocked the Water Flow of the Mekong River`, researchers provided scientific evidence based on research data and satellite measurements that China used

The report states that China’s actions have been causing erratic changes to the natural functioning of the river and negatively impacting water levels downstream.

Citing a new study by Eyes on Earth company using real-life evidence, measuring station data of the Mekong River Commission combined with remote sensing technology from 1992 to 2019, researchers said, they can confirm

“Eyes on Earth’s findings show that the total amount of water released over the past 30 years combined is still much less than the total amount of water stored,” the report said.

Causes of the 2019 drought

The Stimson Center said that the most important finding of the report is that new research data shows that during the severe drought in the Lower Mekong River from 2019 until now, China’s upstream region has had

The report points out that, at a meeting in early 2020, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, `lack of rain is the main cause of drought` and said China has also suffered from this situation.

Currently, the downstream is in the annual dry season, and the lack of water in the Mekong River system has caused many areas across the river basin to declare a state of emergency drought.

“Through independent research, we have demonstrated how scientists can use satellite data to measure water levels in the Mekong River basin and provide real-time data to countries.

Water resources must be shared equitably

The Stimson Center report said that Beijing’s dam management policy is causing erratic changes and negative impacts on water levels downstream.

“China considers data on water flow and hydroelectric activities to be a state secret.

Stimson researchers often hear Chinese stakeholders repeat a worrying point: don’t share even a drop of China’s water without using it first or without making downstream countries

In addition, the report also mentions the possibility that China could divert water from the Mekong River into other basins leading to the country’s east coast, and such actions would permanently remove this water source from the country.

“The lack of evidence does not mean ruling out the possibility of China using Mekong River water for other purposes.

What solution for downstream countries?

According to Stimson, Eyes on Earth’s research shows a high degree of control by China over flows to downstream countries.

Stimson’s report argues that, although it cannot change the existence of upstream dams, China can and should change the way it operates.

Once there is clear data on when and where water is stored or released, discussions with China can be based on data and evidence-based analysis rather than on uncertain information.


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