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The water level in the Mekong River is falling more and more due to the increasing number of hydroelectric power plants

The Mekong River water level, according to the AFP, is the lowest ever. In some areas, this once lush and powerful river has been reduced to a thin strip a few tens of meters wide, and this is particularly true in northern Thailand.

According to the Mekong River Commission (MRC), the water level in the Mekong River was lower in about 30 years from June to October, and forecasts are no longer promising; next dry season, which is approaching, levels may fall even further.

According to environmentalists, the problem is exacerbated by the numerous hydroelectric power plants and dams built in Laos and China. Despite these conditions, another major Thai hydropower plant worth $4.5 billion has started operating in Laos this week, and environmentalists fear that it could have a major impact on the environment associated with the river, as well as on the river itself.

Conditions would be even worse this year because of the much weaker monsoons.

Laos is trying to become Asia’s “accumulator”: with its dozens of hydroelectric power plants, of which there are currently more than 44, located mainly on the main tributaries of the Mekong, as well as on the Mekon itself, local institutions are trying to improve the poor condition of most regions of the country, which are even landlocked.

Janice Walker

Janice Walker is a biologist (having graduated from Prescott College in 2013) and an experienced writer. She currently works as a pharmacist, contributing research and content to during her nights and weekends. During her time at Prescott College she was an active contributor to her student journal and hopes to grow up as a well established, popular science blog.
Janice Walker