23 May 2024

Taking advantage of the low tide in the Gulf of Thailand, irrigation officials have stepped up efforts to divert the massive amounts of water in the Chao Phraya river basin into the western course of the river, flowing through Makhamthao U Thong canal and Tha Chin river to Suphan Buri province.

Secretary-General of the National Water Resources Office, Somkiat Prajamwong, said that there is still water retention capacity in Suphan Buri to store the excess water and ease the pressure in the Chao Phraya River itself.

Although this water diversion plan may ruin unharvested rice in Suphan Buri, he assured that the farmers affected will be compensated and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan has instructed the Royal Irrigation Department to survey the relevant areas.

He said the water diversion efforts will be suspended during the weekend, when the tide is high, and will continue from October 4th to 8th, after which more heavy rain is anticipated.

Somkiat noted that the flow of water in the Chao Phraya River, at the water measurement station in Chum Saeng district of Nakhon Sawan province, has passed its peak level and is slowing, adding that flow in the Ping River has also reduced.

“The situations at all water measurement stations are looking good, indicating that the flow of water into the Chao Phraya Dam is declining,” said the secretary-general, adding that water released by the dam will reach its peak this evening or tomorrow morning.

He said, however, that there is still a need to discharge more excess water through the Pasak Jolasid Dam, to prevent the reservoir from overflowing the spillway.

He disclosed that about 400 million cubic meters of water are about to flow into Pasak Jolasid and this will increase the water level downstream of the dam.

He anticipated that it will be a week before the situation in the downstream stretches of the Chao Phraya River will ease.