(How hydropower dams can help ASEAN fight climate change)

Stefano Galelli – Bình Yên Đông lược dịch, mekong-cuulong

Channel News Asia – 11 November 2020

Việc xây cất thủy điện ở Lào bị đình chỉ vì lo ngại Covid-19 lây lan. [Ảnh: Jack Board]

Đập là hạ tầng cơ sở được xây để kiểm soát dòng chảy của sông và chứa một số nước lớn trong hồ nhân tạo hay hồ chứa.


Monitoring the Quantity of Water Flowing Through the Upper Mekong Through Natural (Unimpeded) Conditions


The Eyes on Earth report, Monitoring the Quantity of Water Flowing Through the Upper Mekong Through Natural (Unimpeded) Conditions,  published this week by Pact, shows that deviations from normal flow patterns began to occur with the operation of the first large hydropower dam on the Upper Mekong mainstream in 2012. Using satellite data on the Upper Mekong from 1992 to 2019, matched against daily measurements of river height downstream at Chiang Saen, Thailand, the research shows unusual fluctuations in recent years. The report concludes that cooperation between China and the Lower Mekong countries to simulate the natural flow cycle of the Mekong could potentially improve low-flow conditions and benefit all communities in the Mekong River Basin.

(Credit: Love Khong Chiam Facebook - facebook.com/pg/ฮักเด้อโขงเจียม-1319709694817122)

Mekong River dams could slice 0.3 pct off Vietnam’s GDP: report


By Phan Anh   March 31, 2020 | 11:27 am GMT+7

Mekong River dams could slice 0.3 pct off Vietnam's GDP: report

A satellite image on January 3, 2020, shows Xayaburi Dam sitting astride the Mekong River, which has turned blue due to drought and other factors reducing sediment, near the town of Xayaboury, Laos. Photo by Reuters.

Hydropower dams on the Mekong River are expected to reduce Vietnam’s GDP by 0.3 percentage points due to their impact on fisheries and agriculture.

Experts say water release from Chinese dams too little to reach Vietnam

By Cuu Long   February 25, 2020 | 01:30 pm GMT+7

Even if China releases water from its hydropower dams on the Mekong River, it might not reach the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, experts warn.

A farmer in Long Phu District in the Mekong Delta Soc Trang Province holds rice plants that have all died because of drought, January 22, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huy Phong.

A farmer in Long Phu District in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang holds rice plants that have all died because of drought, January 22, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huy Phong.

Releasing water is a task China has to do periodically as its dams cannot keep holding back water, and given the increasing level of ice melt that raises sea level, it is a must for China to save its land from salt intrusion, Le Anh Tuan, deputy head of the Climate Change Institute at Can Tho University, said.

Tiếp tục đọc “Experts say water release from Chinese dams too little to reach Vietnam”

Banks need to take Belt and Road environmental risks seriously

China’s banks supporting BRI projects should apply environmental risk-management policies and oversight, says Divya Narain

Article image
Rice harvesting near Vientiane in Laos. The pillars will support the Nam Khone bridge, the longest on the China–Laos high-speed railway (Image: Surya Chuen / China Dialogue)

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is intended to catalyse the economies of countries around the globe.

Yet BRI projects overlap some of the most ecologically fragile places on earth. The multi-trillion-dollar initiative – to build transcontinental networks of roads, railways and ports, studded with dams, mines, power plants, and solar and wind farms – has its environmental impacts. These include air and water pollution, soil contamination and erosion, habitat and wildlife loss. Tiếp tục đọc “Banks need to take Belt and Road environmental risks seriously”

Gravest threat to Mekong delta today is sediment starvation not rising seas


Posted on 10 December 2019

New research shows that the increasing vulnerability of the Mekong delta to floods, salt intrusion and erosion is caused by insufficient sediment in the river not climate-induced rise in sea levels.

Published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, the findings of the Rise and Fall Project at Utrecht University are clear: the growing threat to the Mekong Delta – and the communities, cities, rice fields and biodiversity that depend on it – posed by higher tides and salt intrusion is almost entirely due to the loss of river sediment because of upstream dams and sand mining in the delta.

Rising tides in the delta have major ramifications for flooding in subsiding and increasingly vulnerable cities, and river bank erosion. While sea level rise and climate change have received most attention in relation to the sinking and shrinking of the Mekong delta, the research shows that in the last 20 years, they have driven less than 5% of these trends.
Tiếp tục đọc “Gravest threat to Mekong delta today is sediment starvation not rising seas”

Analysis: Floating solar power along the dammed-up Mekong River


Analysis by  on 3 December 2019

  • This year, the first floating solar power generating system in Southeast Asia was deployed on a reservoir in Vietnam.
  • Floating solar power systems are being written into the energy master plans of Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines as well as Vietnam, and into the calculations of investment banks.
  • The technology presents an alternative to additional hydroelectric power projects.

For two decades or more, alarms have been sounding for the Mekong Delta. It’s being hammered by climate change, by a proliferation of upstream dams, by unsustainable and inappropriate farming practices, by greed and political expediency. The punishment the delta’s taking has been well reported, first in scholarly papers, then in specialized publications and appeals by NGOs.

Now there’s a consensus: an environmental disaster is inexorably unfolding over 75,000 square kilometers (29,000 square miles) of famously fertile lowlands in Vietnam and Cambodia, home to some 35 million farmers and fishermen. Major media are publishing melancholy obituaries for the Mekong that once was.
Tiếp tục đọc “Analysis: Floating solar power along the dammed-up Mekong River”



(River of no return: Mekong faces grim future)

Luke Hunt – Bình Yên Đông lược dịch

UCANews – August 21, 2019

Hình chụp ngày 14 tháng 4 cho thấy một du khách đi ngang đụn cát hay “Toppathatsay” trên bờ sông Mekong đánh dấu năm mới ở Lào hay “Pi Mai” tổ chức ở Luang Prabang. [Ảnh: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP]

Một lần nữa, sông Mekong xuống thấp đến mức kỷ lục, đe dọa việc sản xuất hoa màu, ngư nghiệp và sinh kế của 70 triệu người giữa việc phát triển thái quá và những báo động tàn khốc.  Nhưng hạn hán năm nay, lần thứ hai trong vòng 3 năm, có thể đánh dấu một bước ngoặt và một tương lai đen tối.




Số đập tăng vọt trong lưu vực Mekong, như đập nầy ở Thái Lan, được dự đoán là sẽ thay đổi lưu lượng sông trong những năm sắp đến, có khả năng làm nhiều vùng trở nên khó sống. [Ảnh: Jack Kurtz/Zuma]
Keo Yeun gật đầu với 2 thanh sắt rồi với vũng nước đục ngầu gần đó. Vừa nhún vai vừa nói: “Nó không phải là phép thần thông. Tôi đang làm thí nghiệm về nước để sống còn.” Tiếp tục đọc “VƯỢT QUA THAY ĐỔI KHÍ HẬU Ở ĐÔNG NAM Á BẰNG KỸ THUẬT CỔ ĐIỂN VÀ HIỆN ĐẠI”

Missing Mekong waters rouse suspicions of China

JULY 25, 2019 / 6:17 AM / REUTERS

BAN NONG CHAN, Thailand (Reuters) – By this time of year, the Mekong River should have been rising steadily with the monsoon rains, bringing fishermen a bounty of fat fish.

Instead, the river water in Thailand has fallen further than anyone can remember and the only fish are tiny.

Scientists and people living along the river fear the impact of the worst drought in years has been exacerbated by upstream dams raising the prospect of irreversible change on the river that supports one of Southeast Asia’s most important rice-growing regions. Tiếp tục đọc “Missing Mekong waters rouse suspicions of China”

The Mekong river under THREAT

Milton Osborne

Even if no dams are built on the mainstream below China, the cascade to which it is committed will ultimately have serious effects on the functioning of the Mekong once the dams are used to control the river’s flow. This will be the case because the cascade will:

• alter the hydrology of the river and so the current ‘flood pulse’, the regular rise and fall of the river on an annual basis which plays an essential part in the timing of spawning and the migration pattern. This will be particularly important in relation to the Tonle Sap in Cambodia, but will have an effect throughout the river’s course;

• block the flow of sediment down the river which plays a vital part both in depositing nutrients on the agricultural regions flooded by the river and also as a trigger for fish migration — at present well over 50% of the river’s sediment comes from China;

• at least initially cause problems by restricting the amount of flooding that takes place most importantly in Cambodia and Vietnam; and

• lead to the erosion of river banks.

So China’s dam-building plans are worrying enough, but the proposed new mainstream dams would pose even more serious concerns. Those built at sites higher upstream would cause the least damage to fish stocks, but if, as currently seems possible, the most likely dams to be built would be at Don Sahong and Sambor the costs to fish stocks could be very serious. This is because unanimous expert opinion judges that there are no ways to mitigate the blocking of fish migration that would occur if these dams are constructed. None of the suggested possible forms of mitigation — fish ladders, fish lifts, and alternative fish-passages — are feasible for the species of fish in the Mekong and the very large biomass that is involved in their migratory pattern. Fish ladders were tried and failed at the Pak Mun dam on one of the Mekong’s tributaries in Thailand in the 1990s. Tiếp tục đọc “The Mekong river under THREAT”

Five things to know about the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation summit

TĐH: We don’t hear discussion on the VNese media about this China-pushed five-year development plan at all. I wonder if Vietnam will have a public discussion about this plan, or whoever attending the LMC summit will just simply approve the plan on behalf of Vietnam?


scmp: Five-year development plan, including construction of hydropower dams, is expected to top agenda at Mekong River nations’ conference in Cambodia

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 January, 2018, 8:03am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 January, 2018, 2:57pm

When China and the leaders of nations along the Mekong River meet on Wednesday at the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation summit in Cambodia, a top item will be mapping out a five-year development plan that would include building hydropower dams and other projects for the region – pointing to its importance in China’s ambitious belt and road infrastructure plan.

But while the cooperation mechanism was created to help ease tension over development projects, environmentalists remain unsatisfied.

Concern is growing that the potential for causing ecological damage will make the Mekong a flashpoint for China and Southeast Asia’s territorial disputes – effectively creating a new South China Sea.

Amid the backdrop of the river’s importance in connecting Europe through Southeast Asia and beyond in the grand infrastructure programme launched by President Xi Jinping, Chinese delegation leader Premier Li Keqiang will be looking to bolster China’s influence in the Mekong region as he faces his counterparts from Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.

Here are five key things to know about the summit and the significance of the Mekong River:

1. The river’s significance for China and Southeast Asia

Tiếp tục đọc “Five things to know about the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation summit”

Is Mekong River set to become the new South China Sea for regional disputes?

The Beijing-led Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanism was set up to help ease tensions over development projects, but environmental groups are yet to be convinced

 South China Morning Post PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 January, 2018, 9:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 January, 2018, 12:09am

Foreign ministers from the six countries through which the Mekong flows met in southwestern China last month to approve a draft of a five-year development plan for the river. But as state leaders prepare to finalise the proposal at a meeting in Cambodia later this month, environmental groups have expressed concern over what it could mean for Southeast Asia’s longest waterway.

Tiếp tục đọc “Is Mekong River set to become the new South China Sea for regional disputes?”

China’s Mekong Plans Threaten Disaster for Countries Downstream


Beijing is building hydroelectric dams and dredging to allow bigger boats as worries of environmental devastation grow.

BANGKOK — Thirty million people depend for a living on the Mekong, the great Asian river that runs through Southeast Asia from its origins in the snowfields of Tibet to its end in the delta region of Vietnam, where it fertilizes one of the world’s richest agricultural areas. It’s the greatest freshwater fishery on the planet, second only to the Amazon in its riparian biodiversity. If you control its waters, then you control much of the economy of Southeast Asia. Tiếp tục đọc “China’s Mekong Plans Threaten Disaster for Countries Downstream”

Death by dam for the Mekong

Laos’ Pak Beng dam, developed by China and supported by Thailand, has divided riparian nations over how best to manage the river’s resources

Chiang Khong, September 14, 2017 4:46 PM (UTC+8)

Water levels run low on the Mekong River. Photo: AFP Forum/Paritta Wangkiat

Water levels run low on the Mekong River. Photo: AFP Forum/Paritta Wangkiat