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Phuket water-supply pipeline from Phang Nga approved by Cabinet

Phuket water-supply pipeline from Phang Nga approved by Cabinet

PHUKET: The B3.5 billion proposal to have a water-supply pipeline from Phang Nga dedicated to serving Phuket has been approved by Cabinet.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Wednesday 18 September 2019, 05:28PM

Deputy Government Spokeswoman Ratchada Thanadirek announced the news at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday (Sept 17).

Cabinet had approved six projects proposed by the national Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA), Ms Ratchada announced.

One of the six was the B3.5bn plan to have a water pipeline from Phang Nga dedicated to supplying Phuket, Ms Ratchada said.

The PWA projects approved by Cabinet included five others to improve water supply and production in other areas of the country.

The projects were approved “to resolve raw water shortages, defective production systems and insufficient production capacity for people’s needs”, Ms Ratchada added.

PWA Phuket branch Manager Graisorn Mahamad told The Phuket News that he learned of the Cabinet approval only today (Sept 18).

“It is really good news that the government has approved this project. People will have water supply in the future,” he said.

“The budget will be a little bit more than B3.5 billion, because the costs in the proposal will now be a little out of date,” he said.

Mr Graisorn admitted that there is still a long way to go before the project will see water acutally delivered to Phuket from Phang Nga.

“I will know more details next week,” he said.

Under the plan explained by Mr Graisorn to The Phuket News earlier this year, the entire project is planned to be rolled out in two phases costing a budgeted B3,517,785,000, with Phase 1 alone costing B2.597bn.

Phase 1 will see a water-production station built to draw water from the Phang Nga Canal, which runs through Phang Nga Town.

“This will purify water and be able to supply Phuket about 3,000 cubic metres per hour,” Mr Graisorn noted, adding that the water will be dedicated to supplying Phuket only.  (See story here.)

Phase 1A will see B846.266mn spent on building a water-producing station and a pump station in Phang Nga, and the beginning of water mains installation.

Phase 1B, costing B889.468mn, will see construction of a pump station building and pipe installation in Mai Khao, and Phase 1C will see B861.266mn spent on installing the water pump equipment, and more pipe installation, at the Mai Khao pump station.

The second phase of the project is expected to cost B920.785mn, with construction hoped to start in 2023, Mr Graisorn said.

Phase 2 will see water production in Phang Nga ramped up 5,000m3 per hour, he added.

The project will also require the PWA acquiring 100 rai for a new reservoir in Nop Pring in Phang Nga’s Muang District and five to 10 rai for each of three water-distribution stations: one in Mai Khao; one in Pa Khlok; and one in Kalai in Phang Nga’s Takua Thung District, on the north side of the bridge from Phuket.

The approval by Cabinet yesterday follows Phuket suffering ongoing water shortages across the island earlier this year as water levels at Phuket’s main reservoirs hit record lows.

Despite the Army and local municipalities rolling out tanker trucks to deliver emergency water supplies in hard hit areas across the island, the Phuket Provincial Government refused to decalre the situation a crisis, which would have allowed the government to use the provincial emergency disaster relief fund to help alleviate the suffering.

Meanwhile, despite Phuket now being five months into its annual six-month -long rainy season, water levels at the island's main reservoirs remain very low.

As of today (Sept 18), the Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) reports that Bang Wad reservoir in Kathu currently contains 1.56 million cubic metres (m3) of water, about 15.25% of its 10.2m m3 capacity.

Of that only 1.29m mis usable water, the ONWR noted.

Bang Neow Dum reservoir in Srisoonthorn currently contains 0.71mn m3 of water, about 9.82% of its 7.2mn m3 capacity.

Only 0.60mn m3 of that is usable water, the ONWR reported.

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Kurt | 25 September 2019 - 11:04:07

Pascale, it is no rocket science. When Phuket runs out of water tourists stop arriving on Phuket. The time that Phuket government has to ask tourists not to visit  Phuket because there is no more water is this moment not that far away.  Ostrich thinking ( building thousands of new rooms) doesn't change that.

Pascale | 24 September 2019 - 19:30:33

Uuuhhh,no more tourism on Phuket in 5 years if foreign expertise isn't called in for the project.Seems like the old doomsayer is having a panic attack again.Maybe he should start building a 50.000 liter water storage tank now.And not forget to hire a foreign supervisor for it,as Thai's would probably mess it up.

Kurt | 24 September 2019 - 13:45:31

...And needed construction of a desalination plant can start now. While building, the budget can be calculated 'real', not  following the 'estimation  setting' in advance of to many departments 'involved', with their more than 30% 'financial overhead' calculations. ( money evaporation)

Kurt | 24 September 2019 - 13:36:38

The present Phuket water situation? Well: Phuket officials talk now 1 year about the water shortest. Update us with alarming figures. There is a 10 year old water pipe line plan with a old budget. Foreign experts can update that budget in less than 4 weeks. In less than 4 months the water pipes can start to laid out from Phuket. And building a desalination factory on Phuket can start now.  

Kurt | 24 September 2019 - 12:05:40

I red yesterday in BangkokPost that a high NACC Official concludes that many high ranking Officials not have their job due to skills, but through 'buying' it.  Lord Buddha may help Phuket if such kind of Officials are involved in this coming 6-8 years Phuket water pipeline adventure. Hope Thailand calls in foreign expertise for this project. Otherwise in 5 years time no more tourism on Phu...

Kurt | 24 September 2019 - 11:45:01

Again DeK, stop reading construction time estimations of Officials as they are cut in stone. Re-read again what Officials before mentioned about  construction time of  projects and what, after completing, was the real construction time. ( underpasses, chalong hospital, etc)

Timothy | 24 September 2019 - 09:06:55

Dek, it takes Thai's 4 years to build a (half) underpass at the airport road. Even if they did start phase 1 next year the whole project will take several years to complete, even if there aren't the usual problems like running out of budget etc. It will be at least 5 years before this is finished. The reservoirs are empty now. Nothing like planning ahead! 

Kurt | 23 September 2019 - 12:08:17

What for all this continues info in tenth of %% how much water is left.  All that bla bla doesn't bring in more water.Have these officials nothing better to do? Like making a quick adjusted new budget request? And start laying a pipe line from Phuket to Phang-Nga in 2020? Perhaps the paper tigers can put the words "URGENT/PRIORITY" on the papers?

DeKaaskopp | 23 September 2019 - 11:56:33

It is even more ridiculous if clowns on here commenting without reading the article properly.Phase 2 with a higher capacity is scheduled to start in 2023 and not the whole project.

Timothy | 23 September 2019 - 08:54:41

Not as ridiculous as waiting for all the reservoirs to run dry before even "planning" a project that is to start four years from now! There is very little water available. What's going to happen this high season? Come on Dek, make an intelligent comment. Enlighten us on how the Phuket water authority is going to deal with this for the next 5 years or more till this pipeline is comple...

DeKaaskopp | 21 September 2019 - 22:34:50

Looks like the expert on everything can't decide for what year he want to predict a start for the project.he named already 2023,2025,2026 and 2027! Probably tomorrow it will be 2028! Ridiculous!

Kurt | 21 September 2019 - 17:33:41

The water pipe line should have been operational already 'yesterday'.   How many years of just thai talks about this matter passed by? How many more Phuket Governors and V/Governors, full filling their ceremonial duties will pass by before construction starts?

Kurt | 21 September 2019 - 17:27:16

...the Phuket inhabitants are lucky.

Kurt | 21 September 2019 - 17:25:47

Ematt, projects of this magnitude,  not even starting in 2023  (just a thai paper schedule) can't even called 'planned'. Until at least end of 2023 are many officials, supply and construction firms at the financial trough. By than cost of construction are up again. Than need more time to 'estimate' building costs. If this whole thing starts in 2026/2027 the Phuket inhabitants a...

Kurt | 21 September 2019 - 14:04:34

DeK, putting your 'grumbling' reactions aside, tell us in a Comment what your realistic water pipe line building time schedule thinking is? Come on,  give it a try. Step down from..'What I read from Officialdom is cut in stone'... Think/analyse yourself. Try.

DeKaaskopp | 20 September 2019 - 19:09:21

"Mention me just one project..." I would not dare to contradict you,as you probably kept records about all  governmental constructions on Phuket and beyond,apart from all your other records regarding all kind of stuff. I mean that's why you came here for,or not?

ematt | 20 September 2019 - 14:00:54

I find it shocking that Thai authorities would plan a project of this magnitude without checking first with the experts posting below.

Christy Sweet | 20 September 2019 - 13:17:57

Climate change is a disinfo term that US Koch brothers financed into existence. Call it what it is- polar melt warming disruption. I can think of no other densely populated destination as ill- equipped to deal with it, either- as Phuket is.

Christy Sweet | 20 September 2019 - 13:10:47

Eggs. Basket. One 

Kurt | 20 September 2019 - 10:39:25

Wait and see, DeK. Wait and see. Until end of 2023 nothings starts. Mention me just 1 project that was completed in thai estimated time.  House of Parliament in BKK? No. Chalong hospital?No.  Any underpass? No.  And so on, and so on. Handle Phuket west coast beach water pollution properly? No.  Just hope for life guards, after many years funny 'struggles'. Wait and see.

DeKaaskopp | 19 September 2019 - 20:02:28

Reading that one expert  predicts the completion of the pipeline by 2029/2030,i guess that some of the old grumbler on here won't be able to benefit from it anymore.That's  very sad !

Kurt | 19 September 2019 - 17:41:09

Foot,  enlarging, deepening present Phuket water reservoirs is/was a great idea. However, perhaps due to climate change, the present volume of water reservoirs is not even filling up. And we are now already half way the raining season. Enlarging now just makes the not usable amount of water larger. ( even lower water levels). Mother nature takes it course., without rain making planes. :-)

Kurt | 19 September 2019 - 15:17:55

The water supply pipe line to Phuket should already have been there. Now we start first a few years financial 'bureaucracy', than 'construction hope start' in 2023. Real start in 2025? Well, when Phuket is lucky it will have in 2029-2030  water supply without suffering water shortage. Congratulations, Phuket!

Foot | 19 September 2019 - 14:39:32

It would seem that creating new and enlarging existing reservoirs in Phuket would be much more efficient, be done in much less time and still cost less.
Why is the obvious solution usually overlooked?

BenPendejo | 19 September 2019 - 12:02:22

Looking like more poor planning here...just robbing Peter to pay Paul, while doing little to address unbridled growth and development which eliminates groundwater recharge and increases surface runoff to the sea.  Seems like what is most important to Thai officials is to get a lucrative contract and start pilfering funds as soon as possible.


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