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The Long Run: Water-saving measures rolled out to make reserves last as long as possible

The Long Run: Water-saving measures rolled out to make reserves last as long as possible

PHUKET: Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA) Chief Graisorn Mahamad is urging all people across central and northern Phuket to conserve as much water as they can. The call comes as dwindling reserves start to dry up and drastic water-saving measures are leaving large populated areas without any tap water at all.

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By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Saturday 29 February 2020, 09:00AM


Water released from Bang Wad reservoir has been reduced to half its usual output, leaving many areas in Patong, Thepkrasattri, Pa Khlok, Koh Kaew and Wichit, including all of Cape Panwa, without mains water supply, Mr Graison confirmed this week.

“But some parts of Patong still have 100% mains water supply because the PWA is using water from a private source to supply them,” he added.

The only areas in Phuket listed by the PWA as “unaffected” are in the south of the island, served by the Khlong Kratha reservoir in Chalong, Mr Graisorn confirmed.

Elsewhere, the Koh Kaew Tambon Administrative Organisation (OrBorTor) has set up emergency water-distribution points for residents in areas there suffering from water outages and has begun delivering emergency water supplies. Parts of Koh Kaew remain unaffected by the outages, but other areas are “on watch” and some areas are without any mains water supply at all.

Meanwhile, Cherng Talay Municipality has already shut off mains water supply in its area from 10pm to 5am each day and water supply to a slew of private estate and condominium projects in Cherng Talay has been shut off entirely.

“Cherng Talay Municipality has to shut off water from 10pm to 5am in all areas of Cherng Talay Municipality because there is not enough water,” Cherng Talay Municipality’s Water Production Division Supervisor Tripoom Musikkarat confirmed to The Phuket News.

Mr Graisorn explained this week, “Srisoonthorn and Cherng Talay still use their own private water sources. They are not connected to mains supply.”

The Kamala OrBorTor last week also issued its own notice urging residents to save what water they can in the hope of making supplies last as long as possible.

Phuket Town has been on water restrictions since late last month. Mains water pressure throughout Phuket Town was reduced from 9am-5pm and from 10pm to 5am each day, but how much the water pressure had been reduced was not explained.

The people already suffering the most – just as during the water crisis last year – are those living in Rassada, Mr Graisorn said.

“More than 70,000 families live in Rassada, including those living on Koh Siray, in the Soi Kingkaew area and all the people living in the National Housing Authority projects. Water supply no longer reaches their homes, but we have set up a water supply centre at Baan Sapam School,” he added.

Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana inspected the efforts to deliver emergency water supply to the hard-hit area of Soi Kingkaew on Feb 19.

The Governor admitted that the area, one of the poorest and most densely populated residential areas on the island, had been receiving deliveries of water supplies by Rassada Municipality trucks since Jan 15, the same day that the PWA reduced the water output from Bang Wad reservoir.

Gov Phakaphong also said he ordered all 19 local municipalities and administrations across the island to provide emergency water supplies wherever needed on Feb 11, three weeks after the output from Bang Wad had been halved.

RUNNING ON EMPTY

While the strategy is to keep reducing water pressure to make what reserves the PWA has last as long as possible without actually shutting water supply off, Mr Graisorn warned that reserves may not last as long as needed.

As of Tuesday (Feb 25), Bang Wad reservoir in Kathu contained about 1.74 million cubic metres of water – about 17.1% of the reservoir’s full capacity, Mr Graisorn said.

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In other words, the reservoir is currently more than 80% empty.

“At current usage rates this is enough to last 49 days,” he noted. Without reducing water supply any further, the forecast will see Bang Wad run dry by mid-April, when the earliest of the annual rains return.

Khlong Kratha reservoir was much healthier, holding 1.425mn m3, or about 33% of capacity, Mr Graisorn said. “This is enough to last 88 days,” he added.

Bang Neow Dum reservoir, however, currently contains 0.418mn m3, or 5.8% of its capacity. “This is not enough to even use,” he said.

The dwindling water reserves at Bang Neow Dum last year were already dedicated as for use in emergency only as the water level there was so low the water would not be clear enough to be pumped out.

HOPE FLOATS

“Many private water sources in Phuket are also running dry,” Mr Grisorn noted.

However, he added, “We just made an agreement with the owners of small private water resources in the northwest areas.

“A total of 600,000m3 of water will come from three water sources in Cherng Talay, about 200,000m3of water from each one.

“The water will be piped to the water station at Baan Bangjo [in Cherng Talay] from March 20,” he added.

The water from the private sources will help feed supply to the network serving parts of Cherng Talay, parts of Srisoonthorn, parts of Thepkrasattri, all of Rassada and all of Koh Kaew, Mr Graisorn explained.

Mr Graisorn also noted, “Srisoonthorn and Cherng Talay use their own private water sources. They are not connected to mains supply. We are providing some water by water trucks to some areas in Cherng Talay.

“Only some small parts of Thepkrasattri is connected the mains network, but most of the area is served by private water sources,” he added.

“All 600,000m3 of water is coming in March, and it will provide enough water to people currently suffering water outages, especially those in Rassada and Koh Kaew, until May,” Mr Graisorn said.

“But until the rain comes we need to reduce water-supply pressure in Phuket. We are just reducing the supply to try to make what water we have last as long as possible,” Mr Graisorn stressed.

People in need of emergency water supply can call the PWA hotline 1662 or the PWA main office number 076-319176, Mr Graisorn noted.

“Or they can call their local municipalities or OrBorTor,” he added.

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Jor12 | 05 March 2020 - 05:27:47

Rorri...you must have got your medical degree off the back of a cornflakes packet because you have no idea about the benefits of salt water. If you don't know me you cannot make judgments nor would I consider you a "mate" as a I have a more discerning intelligent circle of mates

Pascale | 04 March 2020 - 22:06:43

@R, so sorry old man for not including you personally in my comment below.I will do it now.Your paranoia about different poster on here being the same person is getting crazier by the minute.Try to get some help.

Rorri_2 | 04 March 2020 - 14:56:20

" I did it for 20 years," calling BS on this, as salts in the water will leave salt residues on your body that will cause rashes and irritation when your skin rubs against clothes, one should rinse of with fresh water... Jor12, 20 years... "mate" you are so full of it, even your bedmates must be laughing, except those that live inside your head, by the way, is Pascale one of th...

Sir Burr | 04 March 2020 - 12:42:04

.....and yet, where I live, the water-table is one metre higher than the same time last year. Drought? What drought?

Jor12 | 04 March 2020 - 08:53:53

Then you should be charged with making false reports. What's wrong with salt water? I did it for 20 years?

Timothy | 04 March 2020 - 08:30:32

Fascinated. I'm talking about Laguna. The site was a tin mine. The lakes were made by Laguna. The are there to look pretty. They are always full. On the way into Laguna, look to your right just as you enter. You will see the massive water mains that come out of the ground to allow for  valves. They are painted blue and are running INTO the complex.   

Kurt | 04 March 2020 - 07:30:32

And Jor12, In this article you can read that no more water reaxh the homes of more than 70,000 families in Rassada. So?   They all has to go to 'swim' in salt water as you suggest?

Kurt | 04 March 2020 - 07:24:54

@Jor12, what I wrote in the past about the periods of water availability was a 'reflection' of what Phuket water authorities wrote that time.  You know that.

Jor12 | 03 March 2020 - 12:40:13

K...you told us 4 weeks ago that the water would be gone and all that was left was for people to die, yet you are still blabbering away or as ematt rightly points out, you're still here as your mission is not yet complete.  Shower? Swim man. You're surrounded by water.

Pascale | 03 March 2020 - 11:31:31

" ..thousands registered inhabitants can still go to Laguna..."  Kurt,you really need a mental check up.Your comments getting crazier by the minute.

Kurt | 03 March 2020 - 09:01:34

Anyway, when Phuket island runs dry, thousands registered inhabitants can still go to Laguna and golf course clubhouses for daily showers and doing laundry. That will comfort. Print the shower tickets now.  :-)

ematt | 02 March 2020 - 19:30:36

Joe why would they leave? Don’t you realize they are on a mission here, to save Thailand from itself. The Great White Hope!

Fascinated | 02 March 2020 - 19:28:04

@ Timothy YOU specically mentioned the Laguna orgainsation now you change the goal posts to ALL hotels and condos. Laguna IS self sufficient and recycles water.  As for Insp K the golf courses are PRIVATE property and have sources within them like it or not they are doing nothing wrong but it doesn;t stop your usual blinkered comments.

Kurt | 02 March 2020 - 10:45:44

@Fascinated. Well, don't you find it strange when a lot of Phuket inhabitants suffer water shortage,  Golf courses are still allowed to ignore that? 'Owning water? In times of emergency Golf courses can tune back in watering themselves and chair water with the population. A good government should order that. I am sure there are thai emergency laws.

Timothy | 02 March 2020 - 09:15:01

Fascinated, the golf course may use lake water for irrigation, but I highly doubt that all the hotels are self sufficient. With the number of villas and hotel rooms, those "massive" lakes would be as dry by now as the once massive reservoirs. Yet, have a look. Those nice lakes are all quite full. No drought at all at Laguna. 

Jor12 | 02 March 2020 - 05:34:47

Aren't you people aware that it's an effort by authorities to have all the whingers leave the island and move back to Germany? Take drought stricken Australia and NZ for instance. Tough, resilient folk who just take lack of water with a grain of salt.

Fascinated | 01 March 2020 - 19:31:22

Errr- Insp Kurt  the golf courses DO have their own water supplies. I'm surprised your normal intensive investigation didn't reveal this

Fascinated | 01 March 2020 - 19:28:58

Errr- Timothy Laguna DO provide for themselves- they have massive lakes in the area that supply all their water. They are self-sufficient.

Kurt | 01 March 2020 - 10:34:02

Phuket had a water crisis in 2019. Phuket has now a water crisis 2020. What in Gods name are the Phuket officials doing already NOW to make sure we will not have a water crisis 2021? There must be some educated intelligent officials who can anticipate and at least start thinking about 2021. There is a climate change going on, remember? When the 'doing nothing' stops?

Timothy | 01 March 2020 - 09:08:47

I see Laguna watering grass and trees everyday with much of the water spraying onto the footpath and roadway. Total waste. Currently Laguna has several huge new apartment/condos under construction. They should be required to provide for themselves. The projects should include water collection and holding facilities and they should have their own desalination plants. 

Kurt | 01 March 2020 - 08:34:01

The 'long run': Water saving measures rolled out. That is NO long run!.  I would like to read:  "The long run' future water guarantee rolled out by water construction works. That is 'long run'.

Foot | 29 February 2020 - 14:10:24

SSDD.
As with each year, all talk but, no effort to actually resolve the problem.  After all TIT.
The disappearance of the tourism industry will actually lessen the water shortage.  
Hmmmm.  was this the plan?

Kurt | 29 February 2020 - 10:03:57

I say it once again, Private people/businesses should not own water for business purpose. Water supposed to be inhabitant owned, with PWA distributing it, and get paid for that infrastructure. By the way when is this Governor ordering the Phuket golf courses not to water their grounds any longer unlimited at this times? What make golf courses exempted from saving Phuket water this time?

 

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