"The natural flow of the river will all be completely changed," Premrudee said. "Of course, it will affect all the vegetation and fish on the river," she said. "Many species of fish will be lost because the river will become shallower, and some parts may have no water at all during the dry season." The river— which runs through China, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam—already faces threats from pollution, climate change, and dams in China that have caused water levels to drop sharply on the upper Mekong.
Conservationists urged the Mekong River Commission—which is made up of
Conservationists fear that without some outside pressure, the dams—mostly funded by Chinese companies—will fail to include affected communities in their planning. There is also concern that relocated villages will not be adequately compensated and that environmental and social safeguards won't be included in the project designs. No one from the commission could immediately be reached for comment on the environmentalists' statements.