Chiang Mai experiences worst drought crisis in 20 years

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CHIANG MAI, 8 July 2015 – Chiang Mai is experiencing the worst drought crisis in two decades, with dams expected to last until August.

According to the report, there is only 12 percent of water left at Mae Kuang Udom Thara Dam or 31.9 million cubic meters. The second major dam, Mae Ngat Somboon Chon Dam, has only 57 million cubic meters of water left. Most of the remaining water will be used to produce tap water for the entire province.

Around 38,000 cubic meters is used daily to produce tap water for public consumption. Chiang Mai needs about 15 million cubic meters of water monthly. Only 47 million cubic meters can be released into the streams or for other public purposes.

The Royal Irrigation Department said the water levels in these two dams would be enough to sustain daily consumption in the province until August, if there were no more rain.

The water levels in the Ping River have declined by as much as 75 percent. The water situation has prompted authorities to call it the worst drought crisis the province has seen in two decades.