Concerns over erosion and sediment buildup at the Chaktomuk peninsula dominated this week’s meeting of the National Mekong River Commission.
Commission chairman Khy Taing Lim said problems at the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap have accelerated in recent years. The junction is shifting southward fairly rapidly, affecting downstream water distribution and land use, fisheries and other ecological systems.
He also said the Monivong Bridge and National Route 1 to Vietnam could someday be threatened.
He noted several studies have been conducted in the last 40 years, but no concrete action plan has been developed.
“The creation of a more stable river morphology at Chaktomuk, probably through hydraulic engineering, cannot be avoided,” said Joern Kristensen, the MRC’s chief executive officer. Morphology refers to the form and structure of the river.
The sediment buildup already requires maintenance dredging of between 30,000 and 80,000 cubic meters every year so seagoing vessels can reach the port of Phnom Penh during the dry season.