JEP2623


Cooperation on the maintenance of an acceptable flow regime on the Mekong mainstream

The purpose of this webpage is to communicate to the public and Mekong water users the work of the MRC in implementing the Procedures for the Maintenance of Flow on the Mainstream (PMFM) of the Mekong River. It displays daily water flows during the wet and dry seasons at each of the selected 9 hydrological stations along the mainstream. It is part of an information system for flood and drought monitoring and the implementation of actions related to emerging flow situations that are critical.

The intent of the 1995 Mekong Agreement of the four lower Mekong countries is to promote cooperation on the sustainable development and management of the Mekong River Basin’s water and related resources. The intent of the PMFM is to cooperate on the maintenance of a mutually acceptable hydrological flow regime on the mainstream to optimize the multiple uses and mutual benefits of all riparian countries and to minimize the harmful effects.

1995 Mekong Agreement - Article 6: Maintenance of Flows on the Mainstream:

To cooperate in the maintenance of the flows on the mainstream from diversions, storage releases, or other actions of a permanent nature; expect in the cases of historically severe droughts and/or floods:

  • Article 6A: Of not less than the acceptable minimum monthly natural flow during each month of the dry season;
  • Article 6B: To enable the acceptable natural reverse flow of the Tonle Sap River to take place during the wet season; and
  • Article 6C: To prevent average daily peak flows greater than what naturally occur on the average during the flood season.

The Joint Committee shall adopt guidelines for the locations and levels of the flow, and monitor and taken action necessary for their maintenance as provided in Article 26.





PMFM has planning and monitoring aspects:

The PMFM for planning purposes by undertaking assessments of future developments (scenarios or projects) to predict whether those future developments would result in mainstream flow conditions that are within the agreed acceptable limits.

The PMFM for monitoring purposes, is directed at:

  • assuring the MRC Member Countries that current flows are within the agreed acceptable limits (and hence past development planning decisions are validated), and
  • precipitating emergency response procedures when flows transgress the limits – which may be “warnings” of floods or drought conditions, or “actions” to mitigate the negative impact.