Saturday, December 17, 2022

Scrolling the Mekong River

Reuters has created a very impressive scrollytelling map which is being used to illustrate how dams are having a devastating impact on the farms and livelihoods of people living on the Mekong River Delta. 

In How Dams Starve the Mekong River of Vital Sediment Reuters explores how the construction of hydroelectric dams has blocked the flow of sediment in the Mekong River. Sediment which is needed to provide nutrients for the rice farms along the delta. These rice farms help to feed up to 200 million people across Asia.

An impressive scrollytelling map is used to show the location of operational dams and the dams which are planned to be built in the future. As you scroll through the article the map scrolls down the Mekong River, while small info windows provide information on the hydroelectric dams and their devastating impact on those who rely on the river and its floodplains for their livelihoods. 

As you scroll along the river you travel from Tibet, through China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam to the South China Sea. Because of the Chinese-built hydroelectric dams only about two-thirds of the silt which once flowed into the Mekong River Delta is now arriving. In 2007 around 143 million tonnes of sediment reached the delta. It is estimated that at the current rate of decline less than 5 million tonnes will reach the delta annually by 2040. 

No comments: