Science Minister: Floods caused by inefficient water management

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BANGKOK, 15 May 2012  – The Science and Technology Minister has admitted that inefficient water resources management is the root to the country’s inundation problem while insisting that the construction of Mae Wong Dam will not cause environmental impact. 

Speaking at a seminar concerning the flood crisis and budget allocation for appropriate water management in the future, Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi conceded that apart from natural disasters, the flood situation in the country has been exacerbated by the lack of an efficient water management system.

Additionally, the construction of Mae Wong Dam will be carried on in order to hold water from the North. The Minister has expressed confidence that the dam will not produce any impact on the environment.

Meanwhile, Dr. Thanawat Charupongsakul, an expert at the disaster and geographic information study unit, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, views the problem of inundation as a result of the lack of coordination between urban expansion and canal dredging. At the same time, he commented that the Strategic Committee for Water Resources Management (SCWRM)’s flood solution, which mainly focuses on flood prevention constructions, has failed to take into account certain social dimensions and public cooperation. Dr. Thanawat also expressed his disapproval of the floodwall construction along rivers and around industrial estates, given its impact on the residents within its vicinities.

On the other hand, Vice President of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) Jane Namchaisiri sees the construction of the floodwalls around industrial estates as a confidence-building measure. However, if a flood occurs, production and transportation will still be impacted. Mr. Jane has, on this occasion, suggested that the water management plan must stress on the participation of all parties.