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BANGKOK 19 April 2019 17:22
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Experts make dire predictions as lower than average rain forecast

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Experts make dire predictions as lower than average rain forecast

By PRATCH RUJIVANAROM 
THE NATION

 

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MOST OF THAILAND will face drought and water shortages this year based on both current water supplies and weather forecasts, but the Royal Irrigation Department (RID) insists that, with good management of resources, we won’t go thirsty.

 

On the eve of World Water Day, observed today, experts had dire predictions, saying the Ubonrat Dam in Khon Kaen will run dry by mid-April. They advised farmers to forget about planting crops at least until the rainy season officially begins.

 

The RID’s Smart Water Operations Centre yesterday reported that the water supply in the Chao Phraya River Basin for the rest of the dry season would be only 10 per cent of normal capacity.

 

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The Meteorological Department meanwhile estimated that the rainy season would arrive at least two weeks later than usual.

The RID information database shows seven major dams with reservoirs badly depleted, under 30 per cent of their capacity. Three of them – Ubonrat, Kra Siao and Sirindhorn – are far drier still, at 3, 7 and 8 per cent capacity, respectively.

 

Reservoirs draining fast

 

Seree Suparathit, director of Rangsit University’s Centre on Climate Change and Disaster, said it was clear that Thailand is facing serious water shortage and everybody would have to work together to make sure the supply remains sufficient.

 

“The situation is quite concerning because many large reservoirs are depleting fast, while annual rainfall will also be lower than average,” Seree said.

The area of greatest concern will be the Northeast, where reservoirs are at critically low levels, leaving farmers at risk of severe drought.

 

“And in the Northeast, I estimate that, by Songkran, people in Khon Kaen will be left drinking what remains at the bottom of the Ubonrat Dam, as the water stored in the reservoir is expected to completely run out in the next few weeks,” Seree warned. 

 

As for the Chao Phraya River Basin, he expects that even though the water set aside for the dry season will not be enough, people in this part of the country are very likely to have enough for domestic consumption – at least until the rains arrive. 

 

However, he said, this means that the RID will have to use whatever spare water it has to cover the demand for water before the rainy season, which will possibly result in a lower water budget for the rest of the year. 

 

“With unusually arid weather conditions this year due to the El Nino phenomenon, we expect Thailand to have less than average rainfall,” he said. “And with less water being stored this rainy season means we are going to see ever more serious drought in the next dry season.” 

 

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Hence, he called on related agencies to start managing water resources carefully and urged farmers not to plant new crops until there is enough rain. 

 

The RID’s Water Management and Hydrology Bureau director Teerapong Tangsombun, meanwhile, said people in areas with irrigation will have enough water for both domestic consumption and farming, but he too called on farmers to not plant new crops until the rains arrive. 

 

Water for the dry season

National perspective

Earmarked: 23.1 billion cubic metres 

Distributed: 18.3 billion cubic metres (79 per cent)

Balance: 4.7 billion cubic metres (21 per cent)

 

Chao Phraya River Basin

Earmarked: 8 billion cubic metres 

Distributed: 7.1 billion cubic metres (90 per cent)

Balance: 828 million cubic metres (10 per cent)

 

Source: Royal Irrigation Department

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30366264

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-03-22

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A couple weeks ago the experts predicted a very hot summer and now shortages. Not much they can do about the heat, but better water management isn't possible? Will this help turn out the voters this weekend? 

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

and urged farmers not to plant new crops until there is enough rain. 

useless, farmers will drain every drop until the spigot runs completely dry

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For the first time in nearly 14 years I have had to order a water tanker to fill my cisterns with drinking water. The grass in my garden has not only dried out it has disappeared completely leaving the bare earth covered in dried leaves and unripe mangoes that have fallen from the trees due to drought. I don't have the opportunity to water the garden as the water being pumped from the well only comes intermittently but a government department told us there would be no drought this year.

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In the UK we've had hosepipe bans in the past when the summer has been long and dry. This is the UK, for Christ's sake. A very wet place. 

 

I say bring back the traditional Song Kran where people didn't waste water in the name of 'fun'. 

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49 minutes ago, Geoffggi said:

CANCELL SONGKRAN......!!!!!!

Ditto.  Pattaya festivities go on a week longer than any other area; millions of wasted gallons.

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5 hours ago, webfact said:

Experts make dire predictions as lower than average rain forecast

We'll talk about it again during the rainy season..... :cheesy::cheesy::cheesy::cheesy:

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so the new theory is rainfall is less when the air is polluted! Something i had been pondering for decades and sure enough there is some truth to it. Farmers piss and moan about not enough water and wanting to burn everything at the same time. Stop polluting and stop wasting water!!!!

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