BANGKOK, 3 October 2014 Mr. Lertviroj Kowattana, the Director-General of the Royal Irrigation Department (RID), noted that a cold air mass from China is moving down to Thailand, signalling the arrival of winter and the end of rainy season.
The RID is concerned about the lack of remaining water in all dams and reservoirs as the current volume has reached the lowest point in 15 years, due to the delay of this year’s rain and the exhaustion of 2000 cubic metres of water that was used for agricultural purposes last year. As a consequence, there is a sufficient amount of water only for consuming purposes but not for off-season rice planting.
In response to the current situation, the RID will propose a plan to reduce impacts of water shortage to the cabinet next week in which the government will be asked to announce a prohibition of off-season rice planting in Chao Phraya and Mae Klong River Basins. Rather than rice planting, farmers will be encouraged to plant field crops and vegetables that need less water in about 820,000 rai of agricultural land in the basins.