Agriculture Ministry confident in sufficient water supply for consumption until rainy season

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BANGKOK, 21 March 2013 The Agriculture Ministry has come out to assure that there will be sufficient supply of water for consumption in drought-hit areas until the rainy season arrives. 

Agriculture Minister Yukol Lim-laemthong said on Wednesday that the water management in all irrigation areas has been going on as planned while it is expected that there will be sufficient water for household consumption until the beginning of the rainy season.

However, Mr. Yukol conceded that, outside the irrigation areas, people may be in trouble, especially those in the Northeast, where all farming activities have been completely banned due to low water supply behind dams.

Still, the Agriculture Minister is hopeful that people in drought-hit areas will not suffer any water shortage for consumption, particularly when the Royal Rainmaking Project has been initiated in the northeastern region to fill more water behind reservoirs and dams.

He added that the artificial rainmaking operation will be in full scale after the harvest of off-season crops is completed, tentatively from April 1 onwards.

Director-General of the Department of Agricultural Extension Panpimon Chunyanuwat commented that Chiang Rai and Uttaradit are the only two provinces, where farmers have been seriously affected by drought.

Mrs. Panpimon stated that the department has proposed to assist drought-hit farmers in finding alternative careers, while the Strategic Committee for Water Resources Management (SCWRM) is also working on a plan to introduce new professions for affected farmers, under the budget of 37 million baht.