China’s dams exacerbated extreme drought in lower Mekong: Study

Critics say system of dams that China built deprived millions of people from Southeast Asia of their livelihood.

Southeast Asian countries would have likely experienced a much less severe drought last year if it were not for China’s dams, a new study says, prompting a pushback from the intergovernmental Mekong River Commission (MRC).

The 4,000-km (2,485-mile) Mekong is one of the world’s longest rivers – winding through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam – and millions of people rely on it daily for food and income.

Based on satellite data, water resources monitor Eyes on Earth calculated the Mekong’s water flow stemming from snow-melt, soil moisture, and precipitation.

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