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Phuket Water Authority to propose water rations as ‘water-saving option’

PHUKET: Water rations will be among the options presented to the Phuket Governor “soon”, Graisorn Mahamad, Chief Provincial Waterworks Authority, told The Phuket News today (Mar 5).

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 5 March 2019, 05:32PM

The move to present possible water-ration plans follows Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Sunday calling for government agencies across the country to take steps to mitigate any drought situations. Image: PR Dept Region 5

The move to present possible water-ration plans follows Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Sunday calling for government agencies across the country to take steps to mitigate any drought situations. Image: PR Dept Region 5

The news comes as a flurry of scattered rainshowers fell across the island early this afternoon, bringing some reprieve to the long spell of dry weather that has befallen Phuket in the past month.

“We just held an internal office meeting yesterday morning (Mar 4) after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha gave his nationwide order (regarding drought measures) yesterday,” Mr Graisorn said

“We are thinking about water rationing by reduce the water released from Bang Wad reservoir, but the detailed plan will first be presented to Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana (before any action is taken),” he added.

“I am not sure when I will meet with Phuket Governor Phakaphong, but it will be soon,” Mr Graison said.

However, when called by The Phuket News today, Mr Graison said he was unable to confirm when the plan will be presented to the Governor or even reveal more details of the plan to be presented.

Somsawat Chaisinsod, Director of Phuket Provincial Irrigation Office, told The Phuket News that he submitted a report to Governor Phakaphong last Thursday, detailing the water reserves in store at Phuket’s three main reservoirs – Bang Wad in Kathu, Bang Neow in Srisoonthorn and Khlong Kratha in Chalong.

The water level report submitted last week was the regular monthly report, not a special report, Mr Somsawat stressed.

Bang Wad reservoir currently contains some 3.8 million cubic meters of its 10mn-plus m3 capacity, Mr Somsawat confirmed.

“Bang Neow Dum contains about 1.74mn m3 of water, and the Khlong Kratha reservoir in Chalong currently contains about 1.38mn m3 of water of its 4.2mn m3 capacity,” he said.

“Right now must figure out the water situation with the Phuket Governor along with other officials soon as possible. I need everyone to work together, not just Phuket Provincial Irrigation Office,” he said.

“At normal consumption rates we have enough water to last until the end of April, but no longer after that,” Mr Somsawat confirmed to The Phuket News.

“I requested that the Governor call together all the heads of the local councils so we can come up with a co-ordinated strategy to conserve as much water as we can (without undue hardship),” he said.

“I also asked for all local administrations to locate and make available any local water sources in their respective areas in order to supplement our water supply,” he said.

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Mr Somsawat said that there were 109 private water sources across the island that could be used.

“These together can provide about 20mn m3 of water in total,” he said.

Meanwhile, the drought situation in Northeast Thailand (Isarn) has prompted a national reaction.

Deputy Government Spokesman Lt Gen Werachon Sukondhapatipak on Sunday (Mar 3) said, “PM Prayut is worried that a drought has already started. He has received reports from around country, saying that reservoirs are running low while rising temperatures are increasing evaporation.

“However, there should be enough water for consumption until May,” Gen Werachon said.

Regardless, “PM Prayut has ordered all government agencies nationwide to take steps to prevent water outages, Gen Werachon noted.

“PM Prayut ordered relevant organisations including the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry and the Office of National Water Resources to quickly work out water management to cope with drought conditions,” he said.

“He also asked people and farmers to use less water and save water consumption. Also officials will survey water demand in order to draft plans to use if this does become a drought,” Gen Werachon said.

Gen Werachon on Sunday also revealed that 12 rainmaking units have been deployed to cover 25 main water sources through the country.

“These will operate from March 1 to Oct 31, to relieve the drought and smoke haze, and prevent wildfires,” he said.

However, Phuket is not one of the areas to have rainmakers, The Phuket News has confirmed.

“We have not received any request to provide rainmaking in Phuket province,” an official at the Royal Rainmaking Department confirmed yesterday (Mar 4).

“But we are open to receive such requests if people need rain for living and for farming.” the official added.



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Foot | 06 March 2019 - 10:44:37

The problem could be solved if it was decided to do so.

Kurt | 05 March 2019 - 19:36:28

Held internal meeting, a bit late, yes? Outcome: "we are thinking". Detailed plans, not sure when to meet/ present to Governor, but 'soon'. Not able to reveal the plans? Thai are very forwarding in talking details about 'plans'. But not now. So, plain saying, there are no plans, right? Poor  410,211 Phuket inhabitants. Lucky it are just that amount living on Phuket.

Kurt | 05 March 2019 - 19:18:35

I read about Government's push wearing yellow clothes during coronaration, but not yet read about water saving rules during Songkran. Why is that? PM is worried, yes, I would be worried too as PM, drought already started.  Order now quickly work out water management.  hahahaha. That management should have started last year. Sorry, now to late. This will become a  election issue. Poor farmers.

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