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Two sides to research causes and impacts of current low flows of the Mekong
PHNOM PENH - The Mekong River Commission (MRC) announced Wednesday a technical collaboration agreement with the Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Center.
MRC chief executive An Pich Hatda signed the memorandum of understanding in Beijing Tuesday with Zhong Yong, the LMC Water Center secretary general, a statement said.
As an initial step, both sides agreed to conduct joint research into the current low flows of the Mekong which are at their lowest levels in 60 years.
The research between January and September next year “aims to identify the causes and impacts of drought and low flow condition,” the statement said.
The study will provide “recommended measures and actions related to data and information sharing and improvement among all the riparian countries,” it said.
It will also "develop a clear communication protocol, and enhance coordinated operations of the reservoirs in both China and the Mekong countries for a more effective response to the current and future issues of drought and water flow."
Dr Hatda said the agreement represented "our joint and concerted efforts to uplift the cooperation between China and the lower Mekong countries as we seek to ensure effective upper and lower Mekong river basin management for future sustainability and shared benefits.”
Dr Zhong said the agreement would “help us to contribute to livelihood improvement and better socio-economic development in the Lancang-Mekong River basin.”
The current low flows, drop in sediment and presence of algae have recently changed some parts of the Mekong River from its typical brown color to an aquamarine hue.