Water shortage possible in Thailand this year


BANGKOK, July 8 — The water supply in Central Thailand’s large reservoirs will not last more than two weeks if no rain comes at the beginning of August, according to Royal Irrigation Department.

Royal Irrigation Department (RID) deputy director-general Suthep Noipairoj said Tuesday that Thailand’s rainfall so far this year is the lowest recorded in 20 years, resulting in a critically low volume of water in reservoirs across the country, especially in the Chao Phraya watershed of Central Thailand.

It is estimated that the water supplies will last for only another 17 days if there is no rain in early August.

Mr Suthep said there is about 280 million cubic metres of water or 2 per cent left in the Bhumibol Dam, the lowest on record, and 350 million cubic metres or 4 per cent in the Sirikit Dam, 80 million cubic metres or 9 per cent in Kwai Noi Bamrungdan Dam and 72 million cubic metres or 8 per cent in the Pasak Jolasid Dam.

Although more rain is forecast, the RID has begun reducing the amount of water released from several dams to ensure there is enough water until the beginning of next month–or until no more water can be discharged.

The RID official added that water levels in several dams in the Northeast have also gone low, noting that water in 33 dams across the country is expected to drop to less than 60 per cent of capacity by the end of rainy season which will then affect the upcoming off-season rice farming and next years’ water management plans.