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The Salween, known as the Nu River in China, is a river about 2,815 kilometres (1,749 mi) long that flows from the Tibetan Plateau into the Andaman Sea in Southeast Asia. Salween drains a narrow and mountainous watershed of 324,000 square kilometres (125,000 sq mi) that extends into the countries of China, Burma, and Thailand
See the fact file below for more information on the Salween River or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Salween River worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The Salween increases at 5,450 metres (17,880 ft) in the Tanggula Mountains on the Tibetan Plateau, nearby headwaters of the Mekong and Yangtze rivers.
- Salween river flows west first, but then very shortly makes a great bend to the east, going to the Chinese province of Yunnan and the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Area, a World Heritage Site.
- Salween, called Nu or Nu Jiang, has been offered for a series of huge dams that would theoretically give more power than Three Gorges Dam, currently the world’s largest hydroelectric station.
- A sharp bend west and one more south brings Salween between the great mountain ranges of eastern Burma, the Daen Lao Range, a subrange of the Shan Hills, next to the Dawna Hills and the Karen Hills.
- Salween river then meets the Pai River flows through Salawin National Park to join the Moei River from the east as it go near to Thailand, where it is called the Salawin, forming the Burma-Thailand boundary for about 120 kilometres.
- Near the mouth, Salween has an average annual release of 1,659 cubic metres per second, although this varies widely. The river’s base flow is provided by Tibetan glaciers, although it swells by the time it reaches the lowlands near the coast, especially in monsoon season.
- Representing at least 13 different ethnic groups, more than 10 million people rely on the Salween river basin for their livelihoods: fisheries are a major source of dietary protein, and the river’s nutrients nourish vegetable gardens in the dry season and fertilize farmlands.
- The population density in the Salween river basin is 76 inhabitants/km2 (Earth Trends, 2002). The most populated section of the river basin is the delta’s fertile floodplain that covers thousands of hectares at the mouth of the river.
- Most people there tend paddy fields in the rainy season and vegetable gardens on the river bank in the dry season. They also fish all year round.
- The climate of the basin is influenced by the southwest monsoon in summer, from May to October, and the northeast monsoon in winter, from November to April.
- The Upper Salween river basin in China covers four different climate zones (subfrigid, temperate, subtropical, and tropical) whereby the northwestern highlands are marked by predominant continental conditions with a dry, cold climate and the southeastern lowlands are characterized by maritime, warm conditions.
- However, the distinctly seasonal nature of the monsoon circulation affects, to a greater or lesser extent, all parts of the Upper Salween river basin.
- In Southeast Asia, Salween river is the longest waterway without a dam. The annual flow of the Salween river basin from China (Nu river) to Myanmar (Thanlwin river) is 68.74 km3.
- In Myanmar, the Salween river basin drains 20 percent of the territory, mainly the Shan plateau in the east.
- When becoming the border between Myanmar and Thailand, the flow is estimated at 200 km3/year.
- Since it flows only over a relatively short distance on the border, the contribution from Thailand, therefore, is considered to be low over that short distance and the accounted flow of the river given to Thailand is 200/2 = 100 km3/year.
BASIN AND DAMS
- In Southeast Asia, the Salween basin is one of the largest, encompassing approximately 324,000 square kilometres (125,000 sq mi), and spreading across three countries and four Burmese states.
- The Salween’s course, for much of its length, is nearly parallel to that of the much larger Mekong in the east. Although the commonly accepted name is Salween, the river is familiar by a handful of other names regionally: Nu in China, Thanlwin in southern Burma, and Salawin on the border of Thailand and Burma.
- Countries beside the Salween river have been desperate to build a series of hydroelectric and irrigation dams on the river. The dams were suggested to generate more electricity for the growing population of China, help improve the power supply in surrounding regions of South Asia, and to divert water to irrigation in China, Thailand, and Burma.
- Producing dams on the Salween would involve flooding hundreds of villages and towns and the reduced flow on the lower Salween would cause seawater to invade inland, making the lower Salween valley unsuitable for growing crops.
- The damming has even been regarded as a “military thrust against” the native people.
Salween River Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Salween River across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Salween River worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Salween, known as the Nu River in China, which is a river about 2,815 kilometres (1,749 mi) long that flows from the Tibetan Plateau into the Andaman Sea in Southeast Asia. Salween drains a narrow and mountainous watershed of 324,000 square kilometres (125,000 sq mi) that extends into the countries of China, Burma, and Thailand.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Salween River Facts
- It’s a Trivia!
- Parts of River
- Famous Rivers
- Dams Problems
- River Movies
- Water Bodies
- Fact or Bluff
- Essay Writing
- Basin and Dams
- Word Search
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Link will appear as Salween River Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 20, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.