BANGKOK, 8 October 2014 The Irrigation Department has announced it will cease releasing water for the purpose of irrigating off-season rice paddies in the Chao Phraya basin, due to the very low amount of water reserve at present.
According to the department, rainfall in the 2014 rainy season has so far been lower than average. The situation is most apparent in the North and the Central regions, where the Chao Phraya basin is situated. Because there was less rain that usual, more than the usual amount of water had to be discharged from the reservoirs in the basin area to irrigate the in-season rice paddies. The combined amount of usable water at all four major dams in the Chao Phraya basin is expected to stand at only 6.5 billion cubic meters by November 1, said the Department.
Due to the need to reserve this amount of water for consumption, maintaining the ecosystem, averting acute water shortage and for other purposes, the Irrigation Department will from now on until April 30, 2015 stop discharging water to irrigate off-season rice paddies in the Chao Phraya basin