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Royal Rainmakers show Phuket’s reservoirs from the sky, to continue efforts

Royal Rainmakers show Phuket’s reservoirs from the sky, to continue efforts

PHUKET: The Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation will continue their efforts to help replenish Phuket’s main reservoirs despite the ongoing campaign resulting in “little to moderate” rainfall landing in the key catchment areas.

By The Phuket News

Saturday 21 September 2019, 06:12PM

The news came today (Sept 21) as Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana joined a sightseeing tour to view the reservoirs from above.

Joining the Governor were Atchariya Chantnrawong, Chief of the Agricultural and Cooperatives Phuket branch, Taentai Ponhan, Acting Director of the Royal Rainmaking Operations Southern Center in Surat Thani.

Once in the air, the team inspected the Bang Neow Dum reservoir in Srisoonthorn, Thalang, the Bang Wad reservoir in Kathu and the Khlong Kratha reservoir in Chalong.

The Royal Rainmaking Operations Center in Surat Thani began the Phuket campaign on Sept 5, using a CN 235 plane to seed clouds in the hope to replenishing the reservoirs

However, it was reported today that the result so far has been “little to moderate rainfall in Phuket”, with an estimated total of more than 300,000 cubic meters flowing into all three reservoirs.

The major obstacle in the operation has been strong wind speeds causing the cloud development in Phuket to move out of the catchment area of the three reservoirs, Mr Tan explained.

“However, the Royal Rainmaking Operations Center will continue its rainmaking operations to help,” he added.

Governor Phakaphong noted that the Bang Neow Dum Reservoir is only 10% full, while the other two main reservoirs also had only a small amount of water flowing into their catchment areas.

As of today (Sept 21), the Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) reports that Bang Wad reservoir in Kathu currently contains 1.51 million cubic metres (m3) of water, about 14.78% of its 10.2m m3 capacity.

Of that only 1.24m m3 is usable water, the ONWR noted.

Bang Neow Dum reservoir in Srisoonthorn currently contains 0.74mn m3 of water, about 10.26% of its 7.2mn m3 capacity.

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Only 0.63mn m3 of that is usable water, the ONWR reported.

The ONWR does not report the volume of water stored in the Khlong Kratha reservoir in Chalong.

“Officials will continue to assess the situation, and will proceed to replenish the water levels at all three reservoirs as much as possible,” Governor Phakaphong said.

“And we request that people use water as economically as possible,” he added.

“In this regard, government agencies will take the best care and solve the problem so that the people will not be affected by this.

“We ask for cooperation from people to use water economically,” he repeated.

The aerial inspection of Phuket’s reservoirs today follows the news on Tuesday (Sept 17) that Cabinet had approved the B3.5 billion proposal to build a water-supply pipeline from Phang Nga dedicated to serving Phuket.

Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA) Phuket branch Manager Graisorn Mahamad told The Phuket News, “It is really good news that the government has approved this project. People will have water supply in the future.

“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.

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

“I will know more details next week,” he said. (See story here.)

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Kurt | 26 September 2019 - 20:33:51

Why is the Governor asking people to use water 'economically', while at same time he agrees with the construction of thousands new tourist rooms to be build on Phuket?  There is no water-, no electricity-, no incinerator-, and no hospital capacity for all this. "The sky is the limit" is over for Phuket!

Kurt | 26 September 2019 - 12:19:45

Since a few days we have winds from the East. Does that mean that the wet season ( west Monsoon) is already over? Starts the dry season early this year? Than it is time to charter large water tanker ships. And have pipe lines from deep sea port to reservoirs on Phuket island. Do this before other countries give negative travel advice for Phuket due to coming water shortage disaster.

Kurt | 23 September 2019 - 11:47:12

... money trough working/planning. Curious for the next week coming uit ( vague?) 'details'.

Kurt | 23 September 2019 - 11:43:28

There it is, written!  The costs in the proposal are now a 'little' out of date'. Of course, I wrote that already in my comment on 21 Sep.  That is why a new proposal will take till 2023-2024 before starting construction water pipeline. And as Mr Graisorn said, still a long way to go before Phuket will actually see water delivered from Phang-Nga. Now first 4 years money trough working/...

Kurt | 22 September 2019 - 15:27:59

The estimated little to moderate rainfall over Phuket is just West Monsoon rainfall. It is the wet season, remember?
Thai Meteo Dept warns us for heavy rain  all the time + the rain radar shows us reality. Nothing to do with artificial rain making.

Kurt | 22 September 2019 - 15:18:49

That whole rain-making attempt above Phuket is a big joke.
1: The air above Phuket is to 'salty' to make that chemical rain process working, as we witness already a few weeks until today.
2: It will be magic to make rainfall exactly above Phuket water reservoirs
Perhaps rainmaking works a bit above non salt moisturized air over  farming land, but not above Phuket water reservoirs.

Foot | 21 September 2019 - 19:42:21

Wouldn't this be an excellent time to actually do something?
Dredge the dry parts as much as can be done, so it can hold more when it does rain.
Simple concept.  Relatively inexpensive.

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