Pak Moon dam’s sluice gates closed to store water for dry season


BANGKOK, Oct 23 – The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has closed sluice gates of the Pak Moon dam in the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani in order to store water for the dry season.

The sluice gates had been opened for three months since July before they were closed on Monday to help local residents living along the Mun River and its branch rivers to avoid drought, said Pongdit Potejana, EGAT spokesman.

The decision came after the meeting of the dam’s water management committee, he said.

Meanwhile, in the northeastern province of Nakhon Phanom, Jureerat Thep-art, head of the province’s disaster prevention and mitigation office said that this year, rainfalls has stopped sooner than in previous years and some areas started to face drought, particularly paddy fields in Na Wa district.

About 4,000 acres of rice paddies producing grains are withering as the area is outside the irrigation zone. Another 2,000 acres of paddy fields are at risk of water shortage. The survey on damages is being conducted to seek assistance from the province.

Although the local authority is offering trucks carrying water to alleviate the drought, it is not sufficient to save all the rice paddies.

Farmers are spending about 2,000 -3,000 baht per day to pump water from a creek and ground water, as far as one kilometre away, to keep rice paddies alive until the harvest period.