New platform aims to reveal dam and climate impacts on the Mekong


A new monitoring platform that uses satellite imagery to track dam reservoir levels on the Mekong can shed light on the contentious issue of how the river’s precious water is stored, and the effects of climate change.

The disruption to water and sediment flows along the river resulting from the proliferation of dams “is causing the Mekong to die a death of a thousand cuts,” said Brian Eyler, director of the Stimson Centre’s Southeast Asia Programme.

He said the Mekong Dam Monitor, launched by the Stimson Center, promises to improve water resource management in the region and help researchers document changes to the climate.

Up to 60 million people depend on the Mekong for food and livelihoods. The 4,350-kilometre waterway originates in China, where it is known as the Lancang, before flowing through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

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