MRC Joint Committee convenes 43rd meeting hinh anh 1Drought affects Vietnam's southern region (Source: VNA)
Can Tho (VNA) – How to use water resources of the Mekong River effectively heated up the 43rd meeting of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Joint Committee taking place in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

During the March 15-17 event, Vietnam stressed that drought and saltwater intrusion have seriously affected lives of millions of people in its Mekong Delta region, and expressed its appreciation of China’s water discharges from its Jinghong Hydropower Station to the lower reaches of the Mekong River to help ease the drought situation.

The country called on MRC member countries to coordinate with each other in releasing water from their dams to the river and use the water inflows in a suitable and effective manner amidst the current severe drought.

Vietnam also asked Thailand to clarify its plan to use water from the Huay Luang River Basin, a branch of the Mekong River, to irrigate the country’s agriculture.

In reply, the Thai side said the project is being studied and pledged to soon provide Vietnam with related information.

On March 16, the Chief Executive Officer at the MRC Secretariat sent diplomatic notes to Mekong River Committees of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, calling on the countries to use the water resources in an effective, suitable and sustainable fashion.

Other topics relating to the commission’s organisational reform, finance and human resources were also debated at the meeting.

The MRC is the intergovernmental body responsible for cooperation on the sustainable management of the Mekong Basin whose members include Cambodia , Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

It is established to promote cooperation among the member countries and thus it is not a supra-national or regulatory body.

The commission looks across all sectors including sustaining fisheries, identifying opportunities for agriculture, maintaining the freedom of navigation, flood management and preserving important ecosystems. Superimposed on these are the future effects of more extreme floods, prolonged drought and sea level rise associated with climate change.-VNA