Thailand

Drought leaves province 'dangerously low' on water

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WRITER: CHAIWAT SATYAEM AND PRASERT TANGPRASIT

The effects of drought are expected to severely hit parts of Prachaup Khiri Khan after the water at the major Pran Buri reservoir in the province recently dropped to a dangerously low level.

The Pran Buri reservoir, the provinces biggest supplier for vast farming areas and communities, currently has about 100 million cubic metres of water left or about 25%.

Many districts in the province are already being affected by a water shortage. Not enough has filled the reservoir.

Pimol Sakuldit, director of the Pran Buri Maintenance and Water Supply Project, said the authorities had anticipated that 124 million cubic metres of rainwater would fill the reservoir from the beginning of the year. However, only 28 million cubic metres of rainwater has been collected, or 77% below the estimate. Mr Pimol said the dry spell has hit many farming areas, adding some crops were only recently planted by farmers who had hoped plenty of rainwater would fall.

He said members of his water project will hold a meeting with related agencies at the end of this month to identify which farmland should be prioritised to receive water from the reservoir. He said farmers will be told to plant other types of crops for the next season to prevent damage from the drought.

Mr Pimol said about 25,000 rai of seasonal rice might have to rely on rainwater to preserve what supply is left at the reservoir for human consumption and the ecology.

Seksan Sonpan, head of the irrigation office in Prachuap Khiri Khan, said even though the rainy season began in May, dams are not being filled.

Bangkok Post
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