Understanding the technical link between dams and water distribution on the Mekong River

July 25, 2020

What is the real impact of dams construction on the Mekong River ? What is a drought and what are the causes? This was the theme of the 2nd edition of the “Science Talks" held in Phnom Penh on July 23.

Nearly thirty journalists gathered in Phnom Penh on July 23, 2020 to learn more about recurring droughts along the Mekong River during a conference with Mr. Ix Hour, Drought Technical Coordinator for the Mekong River Commission.

When reporting on this issue, most journalists draw the conclusion that drought in the Mekong basin is caused by dam development, Hour explained. But from a technical and scientific point of view, we need proofs to state this. Though dams could have negative effect on water distribution downstream, we also know they help mitigate drought and water shortage. This is what I explained, hoping that journalists can better understand how the drought phenomenon is technically defined and write about it with a better understanding, he said after the session.

The Mekong River Commission has been receiving support from the French Development Agency since 2003. The Science Talks are monthly conferences that are intended to improve the knowledge of journalists on scientific subjects, to enable educational and understandable media coverage for the population.
These conferences are part of the Mekong: Sustainable News project, implemented by CFI in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam and supported by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

The next Science Talk will be held in September.