11 July 2024

Thailand’s popular tourist destination of Phuket is now experiencing water shortage, with water in the province’s three reservoirs just enough for the production of tap water until May and the condition is expected to get worse if there are no rains.

Mr Kraison Mahamad, manager of Phuket-based provincial waterworks authority, admitted that tap water production would be affected if there are no rains as water in Bang Naeo Dam, Klong Katha and Bang Ward would be enough for use until May the latest, adding that his office had been told by  irrigation officials to cut production to prolong the supply  of tap water to consumers on the tourist island.

As a contingency plan to ease water shortage problem, he said his office had contacted several independent suppliers for water supply, but also suggested that consumers should use water sparingly as well.

The city mayoress, Ms Somjai Suwansuppana, said that the municipal has been providing free water to about 18,000 households each day, with 70 percent of the water produced locally and the rest bought from independent suppliers.

She said the municipal had contingency plan in case there are no rains next month by buying more water from water suppliers to meet consumption need, adding that there will be sufficient water to meet the need of all the households if they use the water economically.

Ms Somjai said, for long-term measure, the municipal administration is mulling water salination project or recycling of used water which may not be acceptable now but may be unavoidable in the future if water shortage problem turns critical due to city expansion and increased population.

Mr Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, president of Southern Thai Hotels Association, said that hotels are hard hit by water shortage problem and many of them have resorted to independent suppliers for water supply to make sure there is water for guests even though the water fee is expensive at between 100-120 baht per cubic metre.

He admitted that it is beyond the capability of hotels to secure huge raw water sources for water production, adding however, that the state should step in for help for sustainable tourism growth in the province.