Dec. 27 (China Dialogue/Prof. Qin Hui): by On a recent research trip to south-east Asia, I heard frequent complaints that China’s hydropower development on Mekong river is causing all sorts of environmental problems downstream. for most of the length of the river outside of China’s borders, outflow from China accounts for a much larger proportion of overall volume.
Yes, only some 14% of the water at the Mekong’s mouth comes from China. But 70% of reservoir capacity in the Mekong Basin is within China – and this will rise to 90% when the Nuozhadu dam comes into operation.
Particularly bizarre is China’s officials for some reason talk of the “three reservoirs of the Mekong”, when a much bigger fourth project: the Xiaowan dam whose power-generating capacity is claimed to be second only to the Three Gorges dam, while its reservoir capacity almost five times the total capacity of the other three reservoirs.
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