Farmers in Suphan Buri use household waste water to save their crops

With irrigation canals drying up due to lack of rain, some farmers in Don Jedi district of Thailand’s central province of Suphan Buri, one of the “rice bowl” provinces, have turned to using household waste water to irrigate their parched farmland.

Desperate to save his 3.2 hectares of paddy in Village 5, Tambon Don Jedi, rice farmer Narong Wongsuwan told Thai PBS that he decided to pump water from a ravine, which has been turned into an open drain for household waste water, onto his farmland for the past four days.

Although there is still a small amount of water in the irrigation canals, he said he prefers to save it for consumption.

Narong said he believes the household effluent that he pumps onto his farmland is free from toxic chemicals because there is no factory in his community, although the waste water looks dirty because of the white foam floating on the surface.

He added that, if he did not pump the waste water for use, other farmers might do the same and the ravine may run dry as well.

It was reported that farmers in Suphan Buri, and those in neighboring Chainat province, have started fighting for water to feed their rice crops because they rely on the same Khlong Makhamthao Uthong as the main source of water for irrigation and consumption.

Farmers located downstream of Khlong Makhamthao Uthong have complained that most of the water is used by farmers living upstream, leaving very little water for them.

 

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