Water demand in Pattaya has dried up amid the coronavirus pandemic, allowing the Provincial Waterworks Authority to save for un-rainy days and expedite infrastructure projects.
PWA Pattaya Manager Chaitat Eidsang said June 11 that water demand has fallen nearly 40 percent from pre-pandemic times. So has the government enterprise’s income, he added.
Two pandemic-related factors are driving the evaporation of demand: The closure of hotels, water parks, soapy massage parlors and other tourist attractions, and the exodus from Pattaya of Thais that used to work in them.
While the financial downturn has affected the PWA’s budget, it has also given the utility a chance to speed up construction projects such as laying new pipelines under the railway-parallel road and Highway 331. With less demand, water pressure can be lowered, allowing faster pipe repairs in other areas, Chaitat said.
The other benefit is the surplus of water backing up due to reduced demand. Before Covid-19, the Pattaya area used 250,000 cubic meters of water a day. That has fallen to 150,000.
The result has been previously dry reservoirs filling up again. Chaitat estimates that reservoirs will be 80 percent full by the next dry season, enough to make it through all of 2022 without worry about shortages.