Chinese official addresses on reason of water reduction of Mekong

20:53, April 02, 2010      

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A Chinese official, on his speech at the Mekong River Commission (MRC) International Conference here on Friday, analyzed that there is no connection between the water level declining of Mekong River and the upstream hydropower stations in China.

"The current extreme dry weather in the lower Mekong river basin is the root cause for the reduced run-off water and declining water level in the main stem Mekong," said Chen Mingzhong, the deputy director-general of Department of International Cooperation, Science and Technology, Water Resources Ministry of China.

He made the remarks on the first day of the MRC International Conference, which, under the theme of "Transboundary Water Resources Management in a Changing World", will last for two days in Thailand's seaside resort town Hua Hin, before the MRC Summit kicks off on April 4.

On the accusation by some civic group that the dams in China led to a reduction of water flow of Mekong, the longest river in Southeast Asia, and to the ongoing drought in the lower Mekong countries including Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, Chen said, "the hydropower stations built on the Lancang River will not increase the chance of flood and drought disasters in the downstream, instead, it will considerably enhance the capacity of flood control, drought relief, irrigation and water supply for the downstream countries."

He also briefed the audience the severe drought that has been ravaging southwest China, with Yunnan Province being the hardest- hit.

So far the farmland affected in the five provinces in southwest China has mounted up to 6,477,333 hectares, Chen said, adding that the drought in China has left severe drinking water shortage to local people.

Scholars, experts, related officials and representatives of NGOs from all over the world have gathered in Hua Hin for the pre- MRC Summit meeting to discuss various issues on water resource management.

The meeting will deliver the Presentation of Statement to the first-ever MRC Summit, which will be held on April 4-5 in the town between the state leaders of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

Song Tao, China's deputy Foreign Minister, will also attend the summit as a representative of the Chinese government, which is a Dialogue Partner of MRC.



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