Drought worsens from South to North

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Early arrival of the dry season this year has  worsened the already severe drought situation which saw many rivers, canals  and dams in the country drying up, making the already bad situation markedly worse from far South to upper North.

But Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan who is also the Defense Minister assured the public that he was confident that the situation will not result in row among the people struggling to grab for water supplies.

He stated that this was due to the fact that the government had made preparations and nationwide rationing plans are already in place to allocate water to every province.

In the South, the disappearance of rains for the past two months in Krabi province have similarly resulted in a major drop in water levels in the public canals in Khao Phanom district.

The situation is so bad that the once flowing canal has now been reduced to a small trickle forcing villagers here to store whatever water supplies they have for their own personal needs as well as their crops.

The situation is same in Chiang Ra Rai with water in the Kok river, one of the five main waterways, reducing  to only 10 – 30 cm in depth. Sand banks and bridge foundations which were normally submerged are now clearly visible to the naked eye.
Chiang Mai province has also been similarly affected with the provincial irrigation department pointing out that water reserves in the 700 year old Mae Jok reservoir located behind the sports stadium is now reduced to only 180,000 cubic meters.

Normally the reservoir can store up to 400,000 cubic meters of water making this year the worst in its 21-year history.

Meanwhile boat operators providing ferry service on the Moon River are no less affected by the national drought crisis as the continuous drop in water levels have resulted in them unable to operates their crafts.

These river taxis are concerned over the possibility of grounding or even worst having the bottoms of their boats ruptured by submerged obstacles such as tree trunks or rocks. Almost all report losses of income up to thousands of Baht a day.

In Bangkok, the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority, meanwhile, issued a notice asking for the cooperation of the public to reduce their celebration of the upcoming Songkran Festival to small dashing and sprinkling instead of splashing large amounts of water to help conserve water.