“Recently, there has been more rain in Phuket, but there is still not much water in the reservoirs,” Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA) Chief Graisorn Mahamad told The Phuket News today (May 7).
“The water situation has been gradually improving, but the situation is still considered ‘critical’,” he added.
“For the situation to be considered ‘normal’ again, the volume of water in the reservoirs must be not less than 50% of their full capacity,” Chief Graisorn noted.
According to PWA records today, Bang Wad reservoir, the island’s main water source, contains just 371,000 cubic metres of water – just 4% of its full capacity of 10.6mn m3 of water.
At current usage rates, that was enough water to last just 10 days, the PWA noted in its report today.
Three weeks ago, the water level at Bang Wad sank so low that an old shrine that had not been seen since the drought of 2002-3 became visible again. At that time, on Apr 18, Mr Graisorn confirmed the reservoir contains just 80,000m3 of water.
“Previously we used about 20,000m3 of water from the reservoir per day. That was reduced to 10,000m3 a day, which means we will be able to use water from the reservoir for about eight [more] days,” he said at the time.
Meanwhile, the PWA today reported that the Bang Neow Dam reservoir in Srisoonthorn currently contains some 531,000m3 of water, or 7% of the reservoir’s capacity.
Khlong Kata reservoir in Chalong seems healthier with 420,000m3 of water, or 10% of its full capacity.
The PWA is continuing to rely on private water sources to supply what water it can to residents, while many people in areas including in Rassada, Koh Kaew and Phuket Town continue to depend on water delivered by truck topping up communal tanks from which residents siphon off what water they need into containers and carry it home. Residents in the Soi Kingkaew area have not had running water since January.
Phuket Vice Governor Wongsakorn Nunchukan yesterday (May 6) inspected the ongoing installation of a pump station beside Baan Ya canal in Srisoonthorn. The pump is hoped to be operational by the end of this week, boosting supply into the water mains network.
Vice Governor Wongsakorn recognised that many people were still without running water supply, especially in Rassada and Koh Kaew.
“Local government organisations have helped the people by distributing water trucks in the areas, which has helped to solve the problem to a certain extent,” he said.
By the end of the week extra water supply from Wanit lake in Koh Kaew and from the Baan Ya canal in Srisoonthorn will supplement supply, he added.
“Water to be pumped up from private water sources by the end of this week and a canal soon, wil be used to supply houses in Koh Kaew, Srisoonthorn, Pa Klok and other nearby areas,” he said.
“And now Phuket has started to enter its rainy season, which will reduce the problem. For the coming year there is a plan to store enough raw water for water supply to reduce water shortages,” he added.