via CAAI News Media
April 06 2010
Cambodia said Monday that Chinese dams built on the upper parts have no impact on the level of water in the downstream of the Mekong River.
Lim Kean Hor, minister of water resource management and meteorology said based on studies and experts the dams built by China have no impact on the change of water level in the lower Mekong River, but because of climate change, lack of rainfalls and drought in the upper parts in China, Laos and Thailand.
Lim Kean Hor made the statement upon his arrival at the Phnom Penh International Airport from the first Mekong River Commission Summit held in Hua Hin, Thailand on April 4-5.
The meeting which was attended by heads of the governments from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam plus their dialogue partners of China and Myanmar had discussed how to achieve sustainable development in the Mekong basin.
During the meeting, China had pledged to make closer cooperation with the countries that use water from the Mekong River, according to Lim Kean Hor.
During the meeting, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Song Tao said that "China now has three hydropower stations in operation over the Lancang River, namely Jinghong, Manwan and Dachaoshan. " Those three are cascade hydropower stations that do not consume water, with scarce effect on the water volume flowing across the border."
The research and evaluation work by various Chinese and overseas institutes supports Song's remarks. According to a brochure issued by China's Ecosystem Study Commission for International Rivers, the study by those institutes including Canada Dilon Environment Scientific Consulting, drew the same conclusion.
Song said the runoff volume of the Lancang River accounts for only 13.5 percent of that of the Mekong River. The runoff of the Mekong River mainly comes from the middle-and-lower Mekong basin, amounting to 86.5 percent.
He also quoted a statement by the Mekong River Commission last month as saying that the water level decline of the Lancang-Mekong main stem is contributed by an early ending of rain season in 2009, a low monsoon rainfall and an extreme scarcity of dry-season rainfall.