Agencies anticipating drought season as rainy season winds down

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Bangkok – The Temporary Crisis Center has called a meeting next week to discuss next year’s drought season after calculating that 37 of the country’s dams are now holding less than 30 percent of their capacity.

Based on predictions by the Meteorological Department that rains will soon ease in the upper north and northeast, the Office of National Water Resources through its Temporary Crisis Center has ordered relevant agencies to slow discharges from dams and reservoirs, with any holding less than 60 percent of its capacity to be refilled through rainmaking.

Recent rains have mostly taken place below dam catchment areas leaving up to 20 holding less than 60 percent of their capacity, including the large dams of Kew Lom and Mae Kuang Udomtara. Up to another 37 dams are storing less than 30 percent of their capacity.

The Office of National Water Resources has called a meeting for September 24 to discuss weather forecasts and possible flooding, as well as the management of reservoirs currently lacking water that may be problematic during the season of drought.

The Royal Irrigation Department has decided that now that tropical storm Mangkhut has passed, some dams should slow their discharge since the present rainy season is expected to last for only another month. From now to September 30 the department is to raise storage to 700 million cubic meters of water and then to 900-960 million cubic meters by October 15.