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Hydroelectric Dams on Mekong Threaten Downstream Food Supply

"Dams on the Mekong River"

Context from IFTF:

Hydroelectric dams on Mekong threaten downstream food supplies and economies.

The Chinese dam, Xiaowan and "the 240-megawatt Don Sahong, located in the Khone Falls area in southern Laos would block [Cambodia's] most important fish migration route, undermining fisheries-based livelihoods throughout the basin... Fish from Tonle Sap, a lake and tributary, and the Mekong, for example, provide more than 70 percent of the protein in the diet of Cambodia’s 15 million people."

Water supply for Vietnam’s rice fields would also be affected.

Laos, Cambodia and Thailand have put forward plans to dam their sections of the Mekong mainstream, prompting Vietnam to object and undermining the local environmentalists’ case against China.

China contends controlling the water flow will prevent the adverse effects of erosion caused by the Mekong’s flooding cycle and will supply renewable energy. China has refused to join the Mekong River Commission, an inter-government agency whose members include the four of the downstream countries.


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