Rice farmers told suspend rice cultivation in low lying areas of Chao Praya River

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BANGKOK, 6 October 2015 – The Royal Irrigation Department (RID) says the four major dams cannot provide enough water for seasonal rice cultivation.

RID Deputy Director General Suthep Noipiroj said his officials need to increase the amount of water in Bhumipol, Sirikit, Kwae Noi Bamrung Dan and Pasakcholasit Dams to 3.5 billion cubic meters. Combined water levels have fallen below the suggested levels of 3.18 billion cubic meters. 

Water restrictions now apply to rice farmers in the low-lying areas of the Chao Praya River, except for those in eastern provinces and Ubon Ratchathani province, due to recent rainfall.

RID officials are expected to raise awareness about the current water situation among farmers, in the hopes that they will understand and cooperate with authorities.

The RID and other relevant agencies are also considering building more regional retention basins, as a way of boosting Thailand’s water storage capacity.