What are the threats to the Mekong?

What problems is Mekong facing?

The Mekong River ecosystem is on the verge of irreversible collapse due to the accumulative effects of climate change and increased numbers of upstream dams as well as other human-made activities such as deforestation, sand mining, extensive irrigation for agriculture and wetland conversion.

Why is the Mekong River at Risk?

Two main risks include the obstruction of the estimated 600 migratory fish species that swim to their spawning ground and the trapping of sediment by dams upstream that prohibits the replenishment of the delta’s nutrients.

What would happen if the Mekong River was threatened?

It would irreversibly change the ecosystem that over 60 million people rely on for food, and will likely result in the extinction of the iconic Mekong giant catfish and other fish species.

How does pollution affect the Mekong River?

Organic and chemical pollutants from agriculture are also a problem. In the Mekong River Basin, catches of migratory freshwater fish species decreased by a whopping 78 per cent between 2000 and 2015. Still, between 2018 and 2019, scientists recorded 110 new species in the Lower Mekong Basin.

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Why is the Mekong River important to people?

From its source in the Tibetan Plateau to its end in Vietnam, the Mekong River is a critical source of drinking water for the millions of people who live in its watershed.

What are the key issues affecting people living on the Mekong River?

Population growth, poor land-use planning and economic policies that encourage the unsustainable use of natural resources are among the factors increasing deforestation and biodiversity loss across the Greater Mekong region.

What happened to the Mekong River?

While drought ravaged the lower Mekong Basin in 2019, there was above-average rainfall and snowmelt in China and the flow from these events was nearly all retained in China’s dams. China’s actions have been a cause of droughts over a number of years. China is impounding more water than ever before.

How do human activities affect the Mekong River?

Recent studies have shown that the dam construction projects along the Upper Mekong in China in particular have had a major impact on both water and sediment fluxes throughout the Mekong basin. … Other human activities in the delta might also contribute to the sinking and shrinking of the Mekong’s delta.

When did the Mekong River problem start?

It started when critical monsoon rains failed to arrive as usual in late May. As drought gripped the region, water levels in the Mekong dropped to their lowest in 100 years.