Why is China Damming the Mekong River?

Experts, though, believe that effort diverts attention from problems China has caused by what the Stimson Center calls “impounding” — withholding — water upstream before it can flow through Southeast Asia into the sea. The lower river basin supports surrounding rice fields and the world’s largest freshwater fishery.

Why is China building dams on the Mekong River?

China has constructed 11 giant dams along the mountainous territory of the Upper Mekong to sustain its ever-increasing energy needs. The management of water flows has long been a concern for many living along the river.

Why is the Mekong River important to China?

The Mekong River provides water, energy and food to six countries in South-East Asia. … China has built 11 of the world’s largest dams on its portion of the river, with plans to construct several more. Those dams store more than 47 billion cubic metres of water and can generate more than 21,000 megawatts of electricity.

How is China destroying the Mekong River?

A U.S.-government funded study by research and consulting firm, Eyes on Earth, found that Chinese dams are holding back large amounts of water upstream on the Mekong, which exacerbated a severe drought in the Southeast Asian countries downstream last year. China dismissed the scientific report as “groundless.”

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How many dams has China built?

The tallest dams in China are some of the tallest dams in the world. Nearly 22,000 dams over 15 metres (49 ft) in height – about half the world’s total – have been constructed in China since the 1950s.

What is special about the Mekong River?

The Mekong River is the 12th longest river in the world, flowing from high up in the Tibetan Plateau, all the way to the South China Sea, some 4,500 km from its source. It drains an area of almost 800,000 km squared and traverses multiple countries, including China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

How does the Mekong River help the economy?

Mekong River in the Economy | WWF. The Mekong River connects China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam physically and economically. … Thailand’s power imports from Laos encourages Lao hydropower development, which in turn impacts livelihoods and fisheries in Northeast Thailand and all other downstream countries.

What country is the Mekong River most important to?

The Mekong River is an important resource for millions of people in Asia as it runs through China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Do dams cause drought?

Hydropower dams cause unnatural river drought and flood-like conditions because they often divert water around entire sections of rivers, making them dry or worse (Richter et al., 2003).

Is Cambodia in a drought?

Floods and drought are now the major problems hitting farmers and affecting the Kingdom’s food security and exports after drought left much land in the Northwest dry and cracked.

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When was the first dam built on the Mekong?

After making modifications to the dam’s design, Laos started construction with a ceremony on 7 November 2012. The Xayaburi Dam is the first of the 11 dams planned on the lower Mekong.

Xayaburi Dam
Impounds Mekong
Height 32.6 m (107 ft)
Length 820 m (2,690 ft)
Spillway type 10 x radial gates
Ordinary Traveler