Mr Sakda said that the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Varawut Silpa-archa ordered the Department of Groundwater Resources to develop a project to help solve the problem of water shortages following a Cabinet resolution in November 2020.
“Phuket is the largest island in Thailand with a total area of more than 543 square kilometres. The area features mountains and beautiful beaches, which is important to the tourism industry which provides employment and generates a lot of income for the local people,” Mr Sakda said.
“There is also the agricultural sector, which covers most of the island, and continuous expansion of urban communities in the Phuket area has affected the demand for various basic utilities,” he added.
“Inevitably, that includes water resources, which is a basic utility that is a key factor in development, but with the water management system and water storage in the area being limited, as a result, there is a problem of water shortage for consumption,” Mr Sakda said.
“The project is to explore and assess the potential of deep groundwater for management in Phuket in order to use all the obtained data to analyse and process the summaries of deep groundwater potential, both quantitatively and qualitatively,” Mr Sakda said.
A total of 45 wells had already been drilled, with half of those able to provide a volume of more than 5 cubic metres per hour, Mr Sakda noted.
Of the 45 wells, 14 were found to be large groundwater sources able to provide more than 10 cubic metres of water per hour. The 14 wells were in four areas: Rassada, Wichit, Cherng Talay and Mai Khao.
“We will use all the information obtained to analyse and process the data to determine the deep groundwater potential both in terms of quantity and quality as well as designing groundwater pumping systems and water distribution systems to be used for creating guidelines for effective water management and groundwater resource development for better living so that people have a source of groundwater for consumption,” Mr Sakda said.
The guidelines developed will be used in other archipelago areas with similar geological features in the future, he said.
Not mentioned yesterday was the pipeline from Phang Nga that is supposed to be under construction to supplement Phuket’s public water supply ‒ a major infrastructure project launched after Phuket suffered severe water shortages in 2018 and 2019.
Also not explained was why Phuket was looking to deplete groundwater sources when the island just opened a major water park, whose opening was openly promoted on the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority official Facebook page.