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China increases water outflow of Lancang river to downstream areas

Since the beginning of 2019, many countries situated in the Lancang-Mekong river area,including China, have been hit by severe drought due to the continued lower level of precipitation caused by climate change. The average precipitation of the Lancang river area within the Chinese territory is 728mm, 34%lower than the average level of previous years. By 21st Jan, Yunnan Province has witnessed complete stop of water flow in 15 rivers and drying up of 15 reservoirs, with 1.07 Million mu of arable land affected by drought and 290 thousand people and 100 thousand big livestock affected by drinking water shortage. The water level of the upper-reach river reservoir has hit a historical low. If the drought persists, Yunnan will be caught in a dire condition where no water could be utilized. Despite its own difficulties, China has tried its best to ensure the outflow of water to the downstream area.

At the request of Thailand, and also taking into consideration of the severe condition of the Mekong river, China has decided to increase the outflow of water of Lancang river to the downstream areas from 850 cubic meters per second to 1000 cubit meters per second , with a view to alleviate the emergent need of Thailand and other countries of the Mekong river area. The decision by China to increase water outflow, despite its own severe drought condition, is yet another special arrangement which demonstrates the kinship of "China Thailand as one family". This arrangement is a result of China overcoming its difficulties and best China could do within the range of its capacity.

The drought in Mekong-Lancang river still persists.China stands ready to enhance cooperation and hydro-logical data sharing with all countries in the Mekong-Lancang river area, based on the spirit of mutual understanding and assistance, with a view to jointly overcome the challenges we face.

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