6 June 2024

Thailand’s Royal Irrigation Department has already taken steps to mitigate the potentially negative effects of the El Niño weather phenomenon, which is forecast to last into next year, in an effort to limit damage to crops and ensure sufficient water for consumption.

The department’s director-general, Praphit Chanma, says that they have already implemented some of the measures proposed by the National Water Command. They have asked the governors of 22 rice-producing provinces to advise farmers to limit main crop cycles, to turn to crops which consume less water, to launch water saving campaigns and to set the priorities for water allocation.

He also said that the department plans to hire up to 90,000 farmers to dredge canals, providing them with an income when they reduce rice cultivation cycles.

Heavy machinery, water pumps and trucks are also being made available to help people in need of water, he added.

About 43 billion cubic metres of water are currently stored in the country’s major and medium-sized reservoirs, which is about 6 billion cubic metres less than last year.

The country’s four major reservoirs, namely Bhumibol, Sirikit, Kwae Noi Bamrung Dan and Pasid Jolasid are, currently holding about 10 billion cubic metres of water, about 3 billion cubic metres less than last year.