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Drought casing increasing problems for Northern Thailand

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Drought casing increasing problems for Northern Thailand | Samui Times
In this picture you can see a local farmer in his withered rice field - PHOTO: scmp.com
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Thailand is struggling to cope with a worsening seasonal drought expected to last until July as the country continues its fight to contain coronavirus outbreak.

National Water Resources (ONWR) was announced in a meeting on Monday, Up to 6,255 villages in 24 provinces have already been declared to be affected by drought, while dams and reserves are only 49 % complete. Only 26% of the water can actually be used.

The video conference was overseen by Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, who says..

“Several areas are already facing severe water shortages”

Gen Prawit emphasised that ONWR and the other state agencies involved must speed up their integration in the long dry spell to ensure that every household has adequate access to clean water.

“This would support the government’s policy of insisting that people stay home to stop the spread of Covid-19.”

He also ordered a boost in artesian-well drill to support the supply of drought-hit communities and to assure the continuity of companies and the Eastern Economic Corridor flagship of the government.

To date, the Royal Irrigation Department has identified and supplied 15.3 billion cubic meters of water to drought-affected areas, accounting for 87% of the water required under the Department’s 2019-2020 Drought Management Plan, said Thongplew Kongchan, Director-General of the Department.

In the Northern Province of Phrae, for instance, villagers in a medium-sized reserve in Rong Kwang District were obliged to sell their stock in 10 large floating baskets because their stock depletes quickly.

Witthaya Takham, village assistant leader of the Moo 14 village in Ban Wiang tambon, says…

” more water could have to be released from the reservoir to provide farmers in the area downstream.”

Pramuan Phongthaworadet, Democrat MP of Prachuap Khiri Khan, said the drought had particularly intensified in the district of Bang Saphan.

“Several tambons in the district have begun to encounter shortages of drinking water and irrigation water, Some 3,200 rai from the durian plantations have been affected by the shortages.”

“For example, Khlong Loi reservoir with a capacity of 210,000 cubic meters has already dried in tambon Ron Thong, due to the long dry spell.”

This pushed the Tambon Ron Thong administration organisation to send out water tanks to help irrigate the durian plantations.

The water shortage situation in the Tambon Ban Krut Municipality, a popular seaside tourist attraction in Prachuap Khiri Khan, still has not improved but adding that efforts have been made to increase access to water there.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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