Mekong River dying a slow but certain death

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Re: Mekong River dying a slow but certain death

Post by SternAAlbifrons » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:38 pm

The free migration, the nutrient and sediment flow, the flood pulse
The free migration, the nutrient and sediment flow, the flood pulse
The free migration, the nutrient and sediment flow, the flood pulse
(got that? chuckle)
Crucial, and impossible with dams

Call me a catastrophist, you are right.
Because i believe that is exactly the effect these dams will have on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Cambodians. Directly,
And the protein supply for everybody.
I believe that because i have seen those very same thousands and i know how they live. And i know what scientists say is going to happen to their fish.

Please please please tell me i am wrong, i hate thinking like this.
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Re: Mekong River dying a slow but certain death

Post by phuketrichard » Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:48 pm

yep, not just Cambodians but Laotians and Thai's, the dams dont allow any sentiment flow and the villages where the dams are built will be underwater. So ur looking at a huge migration /resettlement of locals.

Will also affect the delta in Vietnam
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Re: Mekong River dying a slow but certain death

Post by AndyKK » Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:43 pm

Power of energy and the country

You could say its been on the cards for many years now, world wide energy, how to use its individual resources to their best abilities. We have now better knowledge of the impact of Fossil fuels that are finite and contribute to climate change, so it's more important that an alternative energy is sourced and embraced in our world of today, because that is our goal and our children’s future, clean energy must be a much better environment for us all to live our lives. Today we talk about the many forms of sustainable energy, being the one of which is able to meet the growing demand of the people today, without compromising the demand of the people that would require it in future. Renewable energy sources like solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, wave and tidal power are forms of sustainable energy. We have learnt that the mining of coal can be extremely harmful to the earth and the ecosystems. But what of today, the way forward of harnessing new energy, reducing our carbon foot print on the world environmental stage. What of today, with the Hydro dams on the Mekong river, producing green and sustainable energy, but where is it going wrong, for it also looks that it may have a huge impact on environmental and eco issues. How to get the balance would be the key to sure success.
Being an individual county in control would certainly make matters easier to manage, but here is not such a case for the source of the river is managed by another country, China with the source from the Tibetan Plateau then four other countries involved downstream all with hydro dams harnessing the power.
The mighty river that flows 500km in the country of Cambodia provides water and food to its people. At Phnom Penh the river is joined on the right bank by the river and lake system the Tonlé Sap. When the Mekong is low, the Tonle Sap is a tributary: water flows from the lake and river into the Mekong. When the Mekong floods, the flow reverses: the floodwaters of the Mekong flow up the Tonle Sap. Immediately after the Sap River joins the Mekong by Phnom Penh, the Bassac River branches off the right (west) bank. The Bassac River is the first and main distributary of the Mekong. This is the beginning of the Mekong Delta. The two rivers, the Bassac to the west and the Mekong to the east, enter Vietnam and exits into the sea.
The countries have their agreements and also their problems, and let’s not forget all are aiming to improve the standards of the area, and the people living along the river Mekong and beyond.
"I am built from every mistake I have made".
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Re: Mekong River dying a slow but certain death

Post by j57 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:01 am

The River Monsters fishing program was one of my favorite shows. I have had the luck to fish on 4 continents. Now, Jeremy is returning to the same rivers and just trying to find a fish.
The Mekong is another example of how dams destroy the natural balance.
I have a great love of salmon fishing and was lucky enough to fish the Kenai in Alaska in 2007.
In the early 90's I worked in LA and we would buy fish from the Pacific Northwest... Colombia and Copper rivers.. Thankfully, old dams have been removed and other steps have been taken to help the migratory fish thrive again.
The Tonle Sap is at such great risk.
I sit here in Siem Reap and wonder what is going to happen to this magnificent lake and river.
Prahok was once made with large fish...
Not anymore.
I caught some huge Mekong Catfish in Thailand in 2017. But, I was at a private lake in Chiang Mai. catch and release...
The fact that the Mekong begins in China and flows through so many countries makes saving it a formidable task.
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Re: Mekong River dying a slow but certain death

Post by SternAAlbifrons » Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:09 am

'Agree with everything you say Andy ^^^ (nicely written too, as usual)
except not so sure about the last sentence. I wish i was.

Sure, individual countries might be building dams for the benefit their own people (mistakenly in the long run?) - but at great expense to others in the region. They know that full well.
Personally i fail to understand Cambodia not kicking up an unholy stink about it. It will probably be the single most affected country.
I put down to two things, but i am only guessing -
i/ No appetite for conflict after recent history.
ii/ Blinkered view on modernising, combined with "under-recognising" the importance of natural systems to prosperity.
(a universal problem)
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Re: Mekong River dying a slow but certain death

Post by frizzie77 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:00 pm

SternAAlbifrons wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:09 am
Personally i fail to understand Cambodia not kicking up an unholy stink about it. It will probably be the single most affected country.
Because Cambodia has built (Lower Sesan Dam) and plans to build its own dams in the Mekong river basin for electricity purposes.
If Cambodia complains about dams upstream, it's the pot calling the kettle black.

The other consequences... oh well... as long as the pockets are filled.
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Re: Mekong River dying a slow but certain death

Post by SternAAlbifrons » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:11 am

frizzie77 wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:00 pm
SternAAlbifrons wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:09 am
Personally i fail to understand Cambodia not kicking up an unholy stink about it. It will probably be the single most affected country.
Because Cambodia has built (Lower Sesan Dam) and plans to build its own dams in the Mekong river basin for electricity purposes.
If Cambodia complains about dams upstream, it's the pot calling the kettle black.

The other consequences... oh well... as long as the pockets are filled.
Not sure that is correct Frizz. Cambodia planned their dams a long long time after China and Laos/thaliland.
The death of the free river was fait accompli. Cambodia would be not be planning dams now if that was not already the case.
I can understand the cynism, there are plenty of grounds for that, but not applicable here. (imo only)
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Re: Mekong River dying a slow but certain death

Post by chiltern » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:42 am

I am not suggesting that is a good comparison with the Mekong but its worth looking at the long term benefits or not of the Aswan Dam. Wikipedia is a good source.
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Re: Mekong River dying a slow but certain death

Post by nave » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:40 am

I agree with frizzie as it seems to be the only post that's close to answering the posed qusestion.

- Paddy fields along the Mekong in Cambodia highly depend on the water level of the river for recieving water. Much of the unirrigated lands will recieve water from floods and most irrigation systems require cetrain water levels to divert water into their canals.
- When threre is sufficient rainfall to keep all dams full, the dams will constatly release excess water. Though this may be a cause of floods, it will not influence the original characteristics of the river flow.
- When there is less rain, dams will not release excess water as they want to keep it for generating electricity, meaning that they may release less water than what it is fed. As a result, the water level in the downstream areas become lower.
- The more dams, more possibilities for lowered water levels when less rain.
- The above become evident particularly when there is less rain. Therefore, the extent of drought damage becomes much bigger compared to a no-dam situation, not necessarily the probabilities of droughts.
- Furthermore, upstream dams are not only made for hydropower but also for irrigation. Once they decide not to care about their neighbors (or when they want to pressure them for diplomatic reasons), they can withold much more than what they do now.

A little rough on the edges, but hope this answeres.
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Re: Mekong River dying a slow but certain death

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:10 pm

December 10, 2019
Mekong turns blue-green amidst flow changes
A change in water levels, flow and increasing amounts of algae are among the reasons parts of the Mekong river recently changed from brown to blue-green, according to the Mekong River Commission.

In a press release, it said the phenomenon is apparent in parts of the river in Thailand and Laos and it could create problems for people who depend on the river.

“Fine sediments normally found in fast-flowing and deep waters that give the water brownish colour have dropped out, creating clearer water conditions,” the MRC said. “Clearer water allows microscopic plants or algae to grow on…the river’s bottom causing margins of the river to turn green.”

It said MRC experts warned people to avoid dispensing fertiliser into the river because it will allow the algae to continue to grow and make conditions worse.

“Some of the potential impacts include changes in productivity of the river with less food available for insects and small fish,” the MRC said. “It will reduce the productivity of biodiversity, including fish, due to high water clarity.”

“This will affect fish catches and the livelihoods of local communities living along the Mekong river,” it added.

The MRC noted the change of colour will continue until the next rainy season in May unless dams located upriver discharge stored water.

So Nam, chief environment management officer with the MRC secretariat, said the change in colour will likely spread to other parts of the river with low flows of water.

“It is unlikely such conditions will occur in the main river…but people should be careful when giving a drink of water to their animals when the water is very green,” Mr Nam said.
https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50668597/m ... w-changes/
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