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Laos Releases Dam Water to Ease Vietnam's Drought

Laos has agreed to release water from its Mekong River dams to help Vietnamese farmers as Vietnam continues to grapple with the most expensive weather-related disaster in its history.

According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lao Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath has confirmed his country's pledge to release 1,136 cubic meters of water per second, reports Tuoi Tre. The water is expected to reach Vietnam's Delta region by the first week of April.

Along with China, which opened its Jinghong Dam to assist Vietnam earlier this month, Laos will continue to increase water flow through its dam until the end of May in effort to aid the people of the region.

All told, Vietnam's stretch of the Mekong will receive roughly 3,611 cubic meters of water per second from its neighbors.

The region's drought and saltwater intrusion has already cost the national government roughly 4% of the country's gross domestic product, or US$6.7 billion.

[Photo via Flickr user Doug Wertman]

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