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Mekong Leaders Mostly Mum on Risks Tied to Intense Damming

Presented with "frightening" possibilities due to intense damming, the leaders of the Mekong River Commission member countries gave little sign Thursday they had heeded calls to rethink a fundamental water policy for the shared waterway, with the exception of Vietnam. At the third MRC Summit in Siem Reap, Cambodia, prime ministers of the four member countries that share the river responded to a six-year, comprehensive study by the body's council that warned of severe consequences if all currently planned dams go ahead. Among the most alarming findings from their modeling was a potential 97 percent loss of sediment flow to the Mekong Delta by 2040 if current development plans proceed in full. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called for a serious response, telling the summit the Mekong's "ecosystem and environment are seriously deteriorating." "The protracted drought, saline intrusion, the erosion of coast lines and riverbanks and land subsidence, [means]...

 

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