Mekong: a future flash point?

The water level of the Mekong is low, and this is causing drought in some areas. The river starts in Tibet, and flows through China, Myanmar / Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The Mekong is one of the most important rivers – and therefore eco-systems – in Asia. Many people would be familiar with the farmed basa fish / Vietnamese river cobbler / pangasius from Vietnam.

Some countries lower in the river suspect the new dams in China are to blame for the decrease in the water level. The Chinese government denies that its dams are the cause. Probably there are many factors that contributed towards this state of affairs, such as rainfall and use of water, as well as the dams, and pointing fingures will not be particularly helpful. What seems urgent is to create a way to manage this river, so that no one country can control the river to use for its benefit to the detriment of others. It has been often said that water and access to it could cause conflict in the near future, and the Mekong may be one such potential flash point.