Mekong Cargo Ships Grounded after China Dam Reduces Water
By CTN News Chiang Rai Times January 3, 2019
BANGKOK – Thailand’s Department of Water Resources has warned eight provinces on the Mekong river to prepare for water shortages. Chinese cargo ships have now stopped operating on the Mekong river from Chiang San pier in Chiang Rai up to Myanmar, Laos, and China.
While some cargo boats from Laos are already stuck in shallow water due to a continuous decrease in the river level.
The Chinese Water Resources Authority has issued a notification to water management authorities in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia. On the planned water discharge reduction from Jinghong dam upstream.
1st-3rd January, Jinghong dam will reduce its water discharge rate to 800-1,000 cubic meters per hour. The Dam will also lower that amount to 500-800 cubic meters per hour on 4th January.
After this period, the water discharge will be restored to the normal level. The discharge reduction is due to the planned testing of electricity transmission equipment at the dam.
Chiang Rai Provincial Marine Department has warned riverside residents and those commuting on Mekong river ferries to be on alert. The water level in Thailand is expected to decrease from 2nd January onwards.
The Office of National Water Resources now expects the dam affected will extend to Loei on 10th-13th Janaury. And also proceed to affect other provinces downstream until 19th January.
The office has also notified provincial governors of Chiang Rai; Loei; Nong Khai; Bueng Kan; Nakhon Phanom; Mukdahan; Amnat Charoen; and Ubon Ratchathani.