Author Topic: Northeast faces drought as dam levels low  (Read 681 times)

Offline Newsy

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Northeast faces drought as dam levels low
« on: September 26, 2018, 12:24:08 AM »

Northeast faces drought, as dam levels low

 SOME PARTS of the Northeast and Central regions are expected to face severe drought due to near-empty reservoirs and a strong dry season caused by the El Nino effect.

Even though three provinces are still inundated, and the dry season has yet to begin, the National Water Resources (ONWR) yesterday raised an alarm about emerging drought risks. The Northeast faces the greatest risk, as Ubonrat Dam, one of the major dams of the region, is only 11 per cent full. The Northeast has 21 of the country’s 36 dams that are at less than 30 per cent of their available capacity.

Moreover, the Meteorological Department and Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute (HAII) also caution that these dams only have some 30 days to collect water from the seasonal rainfall until the rainy season resumes in May 2019.

The Meteorological Depart-ment has also warned that the development of El Nino in the Pacific Ocean in the beginning of 2019 will contribute to an even drier than normal climate in Southeast Asia and Western Pacific, which will further intensify the severity of the coming drought.

 He said the list of these reservoirs and their assessed water situation would be passed on to the Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation Depart-ment, so they can run rainmaking missions to top up the dams.

Information from Royal Irrigation Department’s (RID) Smart Water Operation Centre put water levels in 143 reservoirs at less than 60 per cent of capacity. Of those, 132 are medium-sized reservoirs, with most located in the lower part of the Northeast and to the west of the Chao Phraya River Basin.

Those regions match up with the highly unusual precipitation patterns of this year, in which much of the country, especially upper Northeast and East have received much larger volumes of rain, which contributed to widespread floods in 23 provinces.

The amount of precipitation in lower Northeast and western part of the Central Plain was significantly lower than average, which caused water scarcity in those areas well before the rainy season has ended.

HAII has calculated a deficit of some 799 million cubic metres of water to meet demand in the Chao Phraya River Basin during the dry season. The total water demand for this region until the next rainy season is estimated at around 12 billion cubic metres, while there are only 11.21 billion cubic metres of water reserves in the four main dams of the watershed.

Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Northeast faces drought as dam levels low
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2018, 09:09:55 AM »

About 200,000 rai of rice fields in Korat affected by drought

Rice plants in some 200,000 rai (32,000 hectares) of fields in Nakhon Ratchasima’s eight districts are dying due to the lack of water after months without rain, an agricultural official said on Tuesday.

Thirasak Butthanu, chief of Prathai district agricultural office, said the last rain over the rice fields came in June.

The eight districts are Prathai, Bua Yai, None Daeng, Sida, Bua Lai, Ban Luam, Kaeng Sanam Nang and Muang.

 According to Thirasak, the Bua Yai and Prathai have been the hardest hit.

He said the eight districts have 12,861 registered rice farmers planting rice on 239,383 rai of land.

About 70 to 80 per cent of the registered paddy fields have been hit with drought.

He said after the end of the rainy season, local agricultural offices will survey the exact extent of the damage to compensate farmers at Bt1,113 per rai to a maximum of 30 rai for each family.

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Offline thaiga

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Re: Northeast faces drought - Isaan needs more water to sustain farming
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 11:50:11 AM »
Isaan needs more water to sustain farming activities next summer

Secretary-General of the Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) Somkiat Prajamwong, traveled to Khon Kaen province this week to ensure that there is enough water in the northeastern region for use in the summer.

Somkiat visited the Nong Wai Operation and Maintenance Project in Numpong district and met with a team of experts to determine how they’re going to increase the amount of water in dams and reservoirs for household consumption and farming activities throughout the next dry season.

There is over 63 million rai of farmland in the Northeast but only 6 million rai is irrigated. The agency and Khon Kaen University have found through a joint study that while demand for water in Isaan is 27 billion cubic meters, there is only 12.4 billion cubic meters of water available.

Somkiat also cited the need to increase the number of water storage facilities to meet the growing demand.
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Offline thaiga

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Re: Northeast faces drought - Agricultural areas face drought threat
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2018, 11:57:01 AM »
Agricultural areas face drought threat

160 reservoirs low on water; farmers told to avoid crops needing heavy irrigation; worries rise for dry season.

FARMERS are being urged to store as much water as possible and carefully plan their farming needs, as most areas in the Northeast and some parts of the North and Central areas will have no water for agriculture during the coming dry season.

With the rainy season ending within the next 20 days, the Royal Irrigation Department (RID) yesterday raised concerns about a possible drought and water shortage in many parts of Thailand, after the agency’s Smart Water Operation Centre revealed that 35 reservoirs across the country have stored water below 30 per cent of capacity, and 95 reservoirs have water at 30 to 60 per cent of capacity.

 A total of 160 reservoirs are running low on water, nine of which are large reservoirs in the North, Northeast and Central areas of Thailand. They include Thap Salao Dam in Uthai Thani province (28 per cent), Mae Mok Dam in Lampang province (34 per cent), and Ubonrat Dam in Khon Kaen province (36 per cent).

Due to the looming water shortage in the upper part of Thailand, RID director-general Thongplew Kongjun stressed that the department’s local offices in the northern, northeastern, eastern, western, and central provinces were now prioritising collection and storing of water in the reservoirs to the maximum extent possible during the remaining part of rainy season. The resources will have to last for the entire dry season from mid-October until May 2019,

Among the areas of concern, nine provinces in the lower part of the Northeast – Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Roi Et, Kalasin, Chaiyaphom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, and Srisaket – are experiencing the most serious shortage of water, with 53 out of 160 reservoirs with low water resources situated in these provinces.

Thongplew said the RID had already strategised a water management plan for the upcoming dry season. In reservoirs with stored water below 60 per cent of dam capacity, the water discharge for agriculture will be limited to save water for domestic consumption and to sustain the ecology. Where reservoirs have less than 30 per cent of water stored, irrigation for farming will be completely ceased to ensure sufficient water for residential and business sectors.

Thongplew is urging that residents of these provinces use water wisely to avoid a shortage. Farmers are being asked to shift to crops that consume less water, or avoid farming during the dry season so as to prevent crop damage and financial loss to the agricultural sector.

Sutat Weesakul, Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute director, said that based on the long-term weather forecast, he expected that Thailand would face more arid conditions than usual at the peak of the dry season in the first months of next year, due to a strong El Nino in the Pacific. He suggested that farmers store their own water and refrain from growing a dry season rice crop so as to minimise the impacts of the upcoming drought on their farm.

 Also yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister General Chatchai Sarikalaya went to Ubonrat Dam to observe the water shortage in Khon Kaen. He shared that he was most worried about the water situation in Ubonrat and Lam Nangrong dams, as their available stored water was extremely low due to a lack of rainfall in the watersheds feeding these dams during this past rainy season.

Chatchai ordered the RID to revise the optimal reservoir rule curve for every dam in the country to match the changing climate and water situation each year, so as to prevent future errors in the water management plan
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Offline thaiga

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Re: Nine major dams at less than 60% capacity
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2018, 11:36:31 PM »
Nine major dams at less than 60% capacity

The Smart Water Operation Center (SWOC) has cited the need to manage water consumption more carefully as the quantity of water in nine major dams is now less than expected.

According to the SWOC, dams containing less than 60% of their capacity include Chiang Mai’s Mae Kuang Udom Thara Dam at 44%, Lampang’s Mae Mhok Dam at 32% , Nakhon Ratchasima’s Moon Bon Dam at 54%, Udon Thani’s Huai Luang Dam at 50% , Khon Kaen’s Ubonrat Dam at 35%, Buriram’s Lam Nang Rong Dam at 34%, Suphanburi’s Krasieaw Dam at 36%, Uthai Thani’s Thap Salao Dam at 30%, and Yala’s Bang Lang Dam at 59%.

Dams with less than 30% of water will supply only domestic consumption and enough to sustain the ecosystem.

Secretary-General of the Office of the National Water Resource Mr. Somkiat Prajamwong has held a meeting to find ways to handle runoffs in the west and south of Thailand as well as a possible drought crisis in summer.

According to the Meteorology Department, heavy rains have been forecast this weekend particularly in Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces.
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Re: Korat to announce drought disaster zones
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 01:41:48 PM »
Korat to announce drought disaster zones

Nakhon Ratchasima governor Wichian Chantharanothai plans to convene a meeting of government agencies on Friday to find ways to tackle the worsening drought in the northeastern province.

Wichian said on Thursday that he would also announce drought disaster zones after the meeting, covering 14 districts that have been hit by a shortage of rain.

The disaster zones will be based on figures of damage to be officially presented by the Nakhon Ratchasima's Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office.

The meeting will be attended by agricultural officers for districts and the province, the chief provincial irrigation officer, the provincial chief disaster prevention officer and representatives of all waterworks offices in the province as well as representatives of all hospitals in the province.

Wichian said the hardest hit districts included None Thasi, Khong, Bua Yai, Sida, and Huay Thalaeng.

The Nakhon Ratchasima's Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office has reported that 550,000 rai of paddy fields and 140,000 rai of other crops in 14 districts have been hit by the drought. The figures of damage increased as officials surveyed the damage in the districts.

Many villagers have complained that their lush green paddy fields turned into dry weed fields after the rains stopped, shortly after they had planted their rice.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.