Standing in knee-deep floodwater in Pattaya, it seems inconceivable that the Provincial Waterworks Authority is working to create artificial rain, but indeed it is, in tandem with the Royal Rainmaking Operation Center.
Despite the rainy season, five eastern reservoirs still have only about 20% of their normal capacity, a result of the previous long drought.
So, to replenish the lakes in order to make it through the next hot season, experts are at work to seed clouds and ensure rainy season does the job.
PWA manager Suthat Nutchpan said royal rainmaking planes began seeding clouds on Sept. 12. The operation will continue until rain falls steadily.
Meanwhile, he said, the PWA will map out a water-distribution plan based on 80,000 cu. meters of water sent daily from the Nong Plalai reservoir so raw water in the other lakes can be preserved.
Currently, Suthat said, Mabprachan Reservoir has only 4.3 million of its 16.6 million cu. meters capacity. Chark Nok is running at 14.3 percent capacity, Nong Plalai at 25.9 percent, Huay Saphan at 33.6 percent and Huay Khunjit at 12.2 percent.
The PWA asked people to continue to conserve water and cross their fingers it rains even more heavily in October.