Mr Somsawat made his appeal at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (Aug 20) attended by Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana.
“I ask because all three reservoirs depend on rainfall to be replenished. The rainy season in Phuket will end in mid-October. I request that the Phuket Governor and the PWA (Phuket Waterworks Authority) consider using less water from the reservoirs at this time.”
Mr Somsawat noted that now, more than three months into the rainy season, there is currently 1.348 million cubic metres of water in Bang Wad reservoir (about 13.2% of capacity), 404,000m3 of water in Bang Neow Dam reservoir in Srisoonthorn (only 5.6% of capacity).
The Khlong Katha reservoir in Chalong is looking much healthier, with 1.303mn m3 of water, about 30.2% of capacity, he said.
Mr Somsawat said that so far this year – from January through August – an estimated 1,216.1mm of rainfall has landed in the areas where the reservoirs are located
“That’s about 10% less than average,” he said.
“To reduce the amount of water we use from the Bang Neow Dum reservoir, we have to build temporary water pump stations along the Chettra Canal and the Bang Yai Canal to supply water to the Bang Jo and Bang Wad water-producing stations.
“For the long-term solution to help reduce the volume of water drawn from Bang Neow reservoir, we have a project to increase the efficiency of the water pump system in Baan Khok Tanode,” he added.
Uthai Saejew, head of the Water Supply Division at the PWA, said, explained that the PWA is currently buying around 45,400m3 of water from private sources per day to feed the water supply.
Mr Uthai added that the PWA is in the process of securing water supply from a new partner company to improve the water supply and reduce the volume of water drawn from the reservoirs.
“The PWA is also constructing weirs to reduce the amount of water used from the Bang Wad and Bang Niew Dam reservoirs,” he said.
“The PWA has long-term plan of having 2,000m3 of water supplied from Phang Nga per hour specifically to be distributed in Phuket,” he said.
‘We have enough’
Prapan Kanprasang, chief of DDPM-Phuket, Phuket Provincial Office of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM-Phuket), told The Phuket News that he believes Phuket has enough water to the island through the next dry season, after the annual rains cease early November.
“Phuket has not experienced a drought, but it has had diminished rainfall, so the government has ordered us to stay alert in August and September this year,” Mr Prapan said.
“If there is not enough water in the main reservoirs, we have private water sources willing to share their water in each local area. Also, the PWA is looking into new natural water sources from a total of 109 tin mine lagoons on Phuket.
“So we can solve this lack of water problem. We have enough water to use,” he added.
“If people have no water supply, they should call their local municipality first,” he said.
“If the local administration is unable to help, then the local administration can ask the Phuket Governor for urgent help through the provincial budget,” Mr Prapan explained.
Waraporn Poonwad, of the Phuket office of the Department of Local Administration (DOLA), noted, “If there is not enough water, we can always file a request for an emergency budget to assist local people.”