EGAT discharges water from major dams as planned

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PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN, March 4 – The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has discharged water from Bhumibol and Sirikit dams in line with policy of the Strategic Formulation Committee for Water Resources Management (SCWRM), said EGAT Governor Suthat Pattamasiriwat.

Under the plan, water in the two dams will be cut to 45 per cent of storage capacity on May 1, 2012 to clear space for rainfall in the upcoming rainy season, the governor said.

To achieve the target, an additional 3.4 billion cubic metres of water need to be released from the two dams, an increase in the planned discharge from 11.9 billion to 15.3 billion cubic metres.

Currently, Bhumibol dam’s daily discharge is 60 million cubic metres, while Sirikit dam is releasing 41 million cubic metres per day on average.

However, the water discharge plan may have an impact on water utilization for agriculture over the next year if there is less rainfall than anticipated in this year’s rainy season.

Mr Suthat said the government and relevant agencies are concerned over possible impacts due to unusual weather conditions, which are difficult to predict in the long run.

Consequently, this year’s water management must be carried out carefully for the most effectiveness.

Sub-committee and working committee in charge of water management will coordinate in monitoring the situation and revise plans for appropriateness and flexibility to weather conditions and the real water situation, he added.

The Prime Minister has assigned the Royal Irrigation Department to be the main agency in assessing the situation.