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BANGKOK 18 August 2019 00:45
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Eight provinces on brink of water crisis, as there is still no sign of rain

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Eight provinces on brink of water crisis, as there is still no sign of rain

By The Nation

 

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The lack of rain has brought eight provinces to the brink of a water crisis

 

Five districts in Nakhon Ratchasima – namely Phimai, Chum Phuang, Non Daeng, Non Sung and Prathai – have been suffering drought for nearly three months now, with up to 20,000 rai (3,200 hectares) of paddy fields left parched for water. The locals are also struggling to find water to survive as their taps have dried up.

 

All reservoirs in the province are almost empty, especially Phimai dam, and if there isn’t any rain in the next week, all crops will die. This is believed to be the worst drought in 50 years.

 

Khon Kaen province, meanwhile, is urgently pumping water into 1,000 rai of drought-hit fields.

 

Khon Kaen governor Somsak Chungtragoon said he is working with related agencies to follow up on the installation of pumps to push water from a local water basin to monkey cheeks nearby, so water can be pumped to irrigate crops in neighbouring areas.

 

Local villager Chantima Pamai said initially she thought her crops would wither away, but hopes for saving them has been renewed now that the governor is trying to provide irrigation.

 

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, meanwhile, has allocated Bt1 billion to finance the expansion of local water bodies in drought-hit provinces.

 

Separately, farmers from Phichit are calling on the Kamphaeng Phet irrigation office to pump water from Ping River to 30,000 rai of their paddy fields which are slowly dying because the local rubber weir has been damaged and cannot store enough water.

 

Drought in the province of Phichit has become severe, especially in areas upstream of the Yom River, because the Sam Ngam rubber weir was damaged five years ago, reducing its ability to store enough water.

 

Village headman Chatchai Sukked, who represents 200 farmers from three districts of Phichit, visited the Kamphaeng Phet irrigation office asking for floodgates to be opened so water can flow into their dry paddy fields.

 

However, Prasert Lumpakorn, chief of the engineering team in Wangbua water-management project, said it will take seven to 10 days to deliver water to farmers because a local canal is still being constructed and pumps need to be installed.

 

Meanwhile, irrigation authorities in Chiang Mai province said 3.9 million cubic metres of water will be reserved to ensure taps do not dry up.

 

The lack of rain has left as many as 17 major dams in the country almost empty.

 

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In Lop Buri, the Pa Sak Jolasid Dam reservoir has dropped dangerously low, to only 4 per cent of capacity – even lower than it was four years ago when the central province withered in the grip of severe drought.

 

In Nan in the North, millions of worms have infested 47,000 acres of cornfields spanning all 15 districts, more than half the province’s land devoted to corn.

 

In Nong Khai in the Northeast, the Mekong River is running too low to catch any fish. The level is more than 10 metres below the top of the bank on the Thai side.

 

Residents are instead earning a living in construction or small business.

 

The news was only good in Ubon Ratchathani, also in the Northeast, where a significant amount of rain fell on Tuesday, credited to cloud-seeding operations.

 

A Muang Ubon farmer said his rice had narrowly escaped devastation in what he called the most severe drought he’d ever seen.

 

The Kwang Noi Dam in Phitsanulok currently holds 134 million millimetres of water – 14 per cent of its capacity. One of four major dams designated for dispensing water for public consumption, it is able to release just 10 per cent of what it normally shares.

 

Warawut Niumnoi, director of water distribution and maintenance at the dam, said only 91 million millimetres of water was available to distribute.

 

There is currently no inflow at all, he said, and what is being released into the Chao Phraya plain can only be let go at 25 cubic metres per second.

 

Phitsanulok Governor Piphat Eakphapun has directed agencies to closely monitor the drought situation, prepare remedial plans for farmers, especially those growing rice and corn, determine the need for artificial rainmaking, and coordinate with the Department of Groundwater Resources on further plans.

 

The Army has established a centre to monitor the situation in real-time so that water can be provided to the drought victims efficiently.

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30373506

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2019-07-24

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We had another bucket load and heaps of wind no power for 12 hours which a bit long even for us.

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I'm sure there will be pleenty of water available for next years Songkron festivities, but not to live

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29 minutes ago, FarFlungFalang said:

We had another bucket load and heaps of wind no power for 12 hours which a bit long even for us.

Dont you love it some rain and the power goes off. We had rain in CNX at 1700 by 1900 dry again then at 2000 no power for 90 minutes. As usual Thai partner has to phone PEA to fix, they had no idea the village had no power.

Going back a few years a week in Singas; it rains basically every day there; sometimes minor flooding but the power never fails.

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30 minutes ago, time2093 said:

I'm sure there will be pleenty of water available for next years Songkron festivities, but not to live

A bit early for this refrain isn't it? Traditionally we start to complain about people using water at Songkran in early to mid march. It's a bit like the letters in The Times commenting on the first choice cuckoo's of spring ...

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So, The Nation is reduced to using stock photo images to illustrate its stories.  Pathetic.

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43 minutes ago, FarFlungFalang said:

We had another bucket load and heaps of wind no power for 12 hours which a bit long even for us.

I know - being an economically minded chap at the moment bI used my motorcycle to go to school yesterday (23 km away). That was a mistake!

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Surin Province, the lake supplies household water, normally it is 5 cm below the footpathdrought.jpg.9603d1991757ee9a18badba113429eed.jpg

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30% ?, "in crisis"?.  The onset of the next monsoon season is nigh - a bit late this year - But it will happen!

 

Dams are built for 2 reasons:  To catch and store water for use in dry seasons and to mitigate flooding in wet seasons to reduce damage.

 

This morning's news:  They have increased outflow to "save" the rice crop on the Central Plains.  Should've started weeks ago and that "30%" should be sitting at 10% by now.

 

Wait for next months news about the widespread flooding - just like last year - and the year before - - - -

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18 minutes ago, JAG said:

A bit early for this refrain isn't it? Traditionally we start to complain about people using water at Songkran in early to mid march. It's a bit like the letters in The Times commenting on the first choice cuckoo's of spring ...

In reality hardly any water used at all. Just that it is visible.

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anything that gets Thai farmers out of growing rice and into more profitable crops that takes more people out of poverty can only be a good thing.

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1 hour ago, time2093 said:

I'm sure there will be pleenty of water available for next years Songkron festivities, but not to live

I wonder if they regret this years songkran yet ? 

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