Can any New Mandala readers point me to some good up-to-date sources of rainfall data within the upper-Mekong region? Given the flooding that has hit Mekong countries over the past week or so, I would be interested in seeing how far outside the normal range recent rainfall has been.

And I wonder if any readers have comments (or information) about the often repeated claims that Mekong dam construction would help mitigate against flood events. They don’t seem to have been too effective in this case. In fact, downstream countries are now expressing concern that releases from Chinese dams may worsen flood events. As the Bangkok Post reports today:

All six member countries of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) will meet in Laos late next month and Thailand may ask China to provide warnings of the timing and volume of water to be released from its upstream dams as several areas in Thailand and the rest of members of the agency are now battered by severe flooding, a senior Thai official said Wednesday.

Thai Deputy Interior Minister Prasong Kositanond said concerned officials are now studying details of the flooding which has affected Thailand’s northern and northeastern provinces during the past few weeks and may ask for improved cooperation from China to send the warning and volume of water to be discharged from its dams.

Without cooperation from China, Thailand’s at-risk northeastern provinces of Nong Khai and Nakhon Phanom provinces bordering Laos would face fiercer floods, said Mr Prasong.