The Mekong River is currently only a little over one metre deep as it flows through Nakhon Phanom province, posing a threat of severe drought during the dry season.
Nakhon Phanom province officials said the river level is dropping faster than in recent years due to the construction of dams in neighboring Laos and low rainfall in catchment areas. Water levels in the three main tributaries namely Nam Kam, Nam Songkhram and Nam Un rivers are now at 10%-20% of their capacities, causing shortages of water for agriculture. Underground water is also running dry.
Meanwhile, irrigation officials have to stop releasing water from Nong Han Lake in Sakon Nakhon province to keep enough water to irrigate about 60,000 rai of farmland during the dry season. Farmers have also been told to grow crops outside irrigated zones and look for new sources of water to cope with the drought. (NNT)