MRC warns of low water levels on Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake hinh anh 1On Tonle Sap river (Photo: Khmer Times)


Phnom Penh (VNA) – The Mekong River Commission (MRC) recently said that the annual reversal in the flow of the Tonle Sap River remained delayed, causing “very low” water levels on the Tonle Sap Lake, according to Cambodia’s news agency Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP).

In a weekly situation report, the MRC said low inflows from the Mekong and low rainfall in the Tonle Sap's upper-catchment areas had “resulted in a very critical situation” for the lake.

More than half of the annual inflow to the lake originates from the Mekong mainstream. Thus, flow alterations in the mainstream would have direct impact on the Tonle Sap water levels and hydrology, it said.

The report, conducted by the MRC Flood and Drought Management Centre in Phnom Penh, said Mekong water levels in Stung Treng, Kratie, Kampong Cham and Neak Luong had risen from the previous week. However, they were "still below their minimum levels” recorded between 1960 and 2019, it said.

Water levels on the Bassac River at Chaktomuk and Koh Khel as well as the Tonle Sap River at Phnom Penh Port and Prekdam had also risen but were below minimum levels seen over the past 60 years.

The MRC reiterated that low waters in the Tonle Sap Lake could affect fish spawning in the surrounding floodplain and lead to water shortages for agricultural production.

The report noted that a prolonged El Nino, which usually causes extreme heat and insufficient rain in the region, was "a cause of low water levels in the Mekong mainstream” in June and July this year.

In addition, the contribution from major tributary dams was another potential important reason for low flows in the Mekong between January and July, it noted./.