Low water levels in Mekong, tributaries affect fish farming

Low water levels in Mekong, tributaries affect fish farming

Fish farming in baskets in the Nam Songkhram stream, a tributary of the Mekong river in Nakhon Phanom.(Photo: Pattanapong Sripiachai)
Fish farming in baskets in the Nam Songkhram stream, a tributary of the Mekong river in Nakhon Phanom.(Photo: Pattanapong Sripiachai)

NAKHON PHANOM: Water levels in the Mekong river and its tributaries in this northeastern border province are very low compared to past years, jeopardising the livelihoods of farmers who raise fish in baskets, according to local media reports.

In Muang district, water in the Mekong river is now only about 5 metres high -- 8 metres below the spill-over level of 13 metres. It is the lower than in any September over the past five years.

The four main tributaries of the Mekong  Nam Oun, Nam Songkhram and Nam Kam streams -- now hold only 20-30% of their capacities.

Local officials of the Royal Irrigation Department said plans are being drawn up to retain water in natural reservoirs and irrigation systems -- for emergency use in future water shortages -- before it flows into the Mekong river.

The low levels of water in the tributaries have affected farmers raising fish in baskets, especially in the Nam Oun and Nam Songkhram streams.

Thanee Wandee, 44, a fish raiser in the Nam Songkham stream in Tha Uthen district, said fish farmers are at risk as the frequent changes of the water's oxygen content and other conditions can easily cause fish in baskets to die.


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