Author Topic: Irrigation officials step in to quell Korat dispute  (Read 651 times)

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Offline thaiga

Irrigation officials step in to quell Korat dispute
« on: February 07, 2015, 02:12:55 PM »
Agree to alter water allocation schedule amid fears of drought in many provinces

IRRIGATION officials in Nakhon Ratchasima province yesterday stepped in to stop locals fighting over water during the dry season.

Nakhon Ratchasima is one of eight drought-hit provinces, according to official records. The situation in Tambon Nong Krathum and Tambon Muenwai in Muang district is so serious that locals closed a water gate on a waterway by themselves. The move allowed them to access water, but deprived more than 4,000 others of tap water.

Before the conflict aggravated further, a senior official from Irrigation Office 8's Lam Takhong irrigation and maintenance project intervened.

Rerngchai Lankhuntod, the project's head for water allocation and irrigation improvement, invited representatives of both sides to a meeting to explain the situation and discuss possible solutions.

"The water gate must be opened," Rerngchai emphasised.

But he explained that the situation would improve to an extent as his office had decided to rearrange the water-allocation schedule.

"Instead of directing water to Lam Takhong canal four days and to Boriboon canal three days a week, we will direct water to Lam Takhong for 18 hours and to Boriboon canal six hours a day," Rerngchai said. He said the Lam Takhong Dam had just 121 million cubic metres of raw water - only 38 per cent of its capacity.

"That means water will be available for consumption and ecological purposes only, not for agriculture and the industrial sector," he said. The local people accepted Rerngchai's suggestion.

Water volume at seven key dams in the Northeast has already dropped to less than half of total capacity.

Apart from the Lam Takhong Dam, these dams are Lam Phra Phloeng Dam, Ubolratana Dam, Lam Pao Dam, Huai Luang Dam, Mun Bon Dam and Nampung Dam.

Lam Phra Phloeng Dam, for example, has just 27 million cubic metres of usable water, accounting for only a quarter of its capacity.

Ubolratana Dam, which is responsible for sending water to many northeastern provinces, including Khon Kaen, has only a little over 500 million cubic metres of usable water, about 21 per cent of total capacity.

According to the government, 31 more provinces are at risk of drought as the dry season continues.

The dry season usually runs from November to April each year.

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