Author Topic: Revellers warned not to waste water ♦ a shortage  (Read 661 times)

Offline thaiga

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Revellers warned not to waste water ♦ a shortage
« on: April 13, 2013, 02:30:26 PM »
Revellers warned not to waste water during festival

The Provincial Waterworks Authority has warned Songkran revellers not to waste water during the festival for fear of a water shortage.

As people around the country today mark the tradition by splashing water on one another, officials cautioned that water levels in major reservoirs are lower than those of last year.

They said the use of water must be carefully managed.

"We can't be at ease with this year's drought," said Provincial Waterworks Authority governor Rattana Kitchawan.

The agency has to ensure there will be enough water for domestic consumption countrywide. Ms Rattana said Songkran revellers must be aware of the concern that water supplies may not be sufficient to last until the start of the rainy season next month.

The agency's concern is echoed by the Royal Irrigation Department. Its deputy chief, Suthep Noiphairot, said officials will not release more water from reservoirs for people to celebrate the Thai traditional New Year because they are worried about a possible water shortage.

Usually the department releases an additional amount of water into rivers during the Songkran festival.

"We have low water stocks this year," Mr Suthep said.

The main Bhumibol Dam in Tak currently holds water at a level that is less than half of its capacity. Only 1,870 million cubic metres can be used. Other dams do not have a great volume of water either. The Sirikit Dam in Uttaradit holds 1.04 billion cu/m, while the Pasak Jolasid Dam in Lop Buri has only 234 million cu/m.

On April 10, the department said the country had a total of 38.053 billion cu/m, or 54% of the combined capacities of all large reservoirs countrywide.

It was 4.693 billion cu/m less than that of last year.

Of the 38.053 billion cu/m, only 14.554 billion cu/m can be released for consumption and other uses.

The top tourist destination province of Chiang Mai, however, insists that it will need more water during the Songkran festival.

The Chiang Mai provincial administration has asked irrigation officials to release between 1.2-2 million cu/m of water a day from the Mae Ngat Dam until April 18, an increase from the usual daily release rate of 1 million cu/m.

Chiang Mai is among the provinces best known for Songkran celebrations.

Both Thai and foreign tourists flock to the province where the streets are crowded with revellers and soaked with water from both taps and canals.

Chiang Mai University, which has inspected water quality in the city's moat, has reassured the public that the water there is safe to use during Songkran.

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