PWA Governor Nopparat Maythaveekulchai was in Phuket on a two-day visit on Thursday and Friday last week (Mar 14-15).
Governor Nopparat and his entourage of national waterworks officials inspected water levels at both the Band Wad reservoir in Kathu and the Bang Neow Dum reservoir in Srisoonthorn.
Phuket PWA Branch Manager Graisorn Mahamad told The Phuket News today (Mar 18) that the Bang Wad reservoir currently contains an estimated 2.23 million cubic meters of its 10mn-plus m3 capacity.
Meanwhile, the Bang Neow Dum reservoir, which also serves much of the Cherng Talay area, contains about 1.46mn m3 of water, and the Khlong Kratha reservoir contains about 1.28mn m3 of water of its 4.2mn m3 capacity.
Of serious concern is how fast the water reserves at the main reservoirs are rapidly depleting.
As of Feb 6, Mr Graisorn estimated that the Bang Wad reservoir contained some 4.5mn m3 of its 10mn-plus m3 capacity. Bang Neow Dum contained at that time about 2.4mn m3 of water.
Worse, the Khlong Kratha reservoir in Chalong at the beginning of February contained about 1.42mn m3 of water of its 4.2mn m3 capacity. (See story here.)
“Governor Nopparat saw all aspects of the water situation in Phuket. He ordered that I must figure out and solve the water situation in Phuket by April 1,” Mr Graisorn told The Phuket News today.
“He told me to draw up a plan with PWA Region 4 Branch Manager Serm Heukkhuntod in Surat Thani about the manpower and budget needed, as well as details of how the water supply is to be managed, along with other details as necessary,” he added.
“Mr Nopparat told me that he is very willing to approve an emergency budget to buy water. I have already contacted the owners of several local privately owned water sources. I just need the owners to reply back to me confirming the terms, then I can ask for the budget,” Mr Graisorn said.
“So far I have received a reply from only one water source owner in Kathu. This will give us only 200,000 m3 of water. “It is still not enough,” he said.
“Other water source owners are still silent. We need 500m3 more freshwater supply per day (on top of existing supplies already in the three reservoirs), which means that (in addition to the 200,000 m3 already sourced) we still need 300m3 more per day (in order to meet demand),” Mr Graisorn explained.
“I believe we can find a solution to this and present this as our plan to Mr Nopparat before April 1,” he said.