Agriculture Ministry: “Royal Irrigation Dept still has drought under control

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BANGKOK, 27 February 2013 The Agriculture Ministry has assured that the Royal Irrigation Department is still able to manage water supply for farmers and people in drought-hit areas. 

Agriculture Minister Yukol Lim-laemthong said on Tuesday that the Royal Irrigation Department has confirmed water supply behind all major reservoirs remains sufficient for distribution to households and farmers in areas where drought has been reported.

Mr. Yukol assured that there will be enough water for uses and farming until the beginning of the growing season in May.

However, until then, the Agriculture Minister has called on farmers, particularly those in the Northeast, to refrain from all growing activities while stating that artificial rain-making is being planned for execution during the end of February and the beginning of March.

Meanwhile, Director-General of the Royal Irrigation Department Lertviroj Kowattana said that a portion of water supply has been reserved for discharge to off-season rice crops during June and July.

Concerning worries about Myanmar’s gas pipe maintenance plans in April and PTT’s similar plan during June 21 and July 6, Mr. Lertviroj said he has already discussed with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) about possible impact of such plans on the country’s power production.

He stated that the Royal Irrigation Department will discharge more water to the Vajiralongkorn Dam during those periods to enable EGAT to keep the electricity generation going uninterruptedly.