6 June 2024

Three new water management measures were adopted at a meeting of the National Water Command Centre today (Wednesday), in anticipation of a prolonged drought after the rainy season this year, due to the effects of El Niño.

Attending the meeting, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, were representatives from the Meteorological, Water Resources and Royal Irrigation departments, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and the Hydro Informatics Institute.

The first measure calls for the Royal Irrigation Department, EGAT and Water Resources Department to formulate a plan jointly for discharging water from the country’s 35 main reservoirs for use in line with priorities.

The second measure is for authorities to ask farmers to avoid cultivation of second rice crops, due to an insufficient water supply. 

The final measure is to emphasise efficient use of water for consumption and agriculture.

Farmers will be encouraged to grow crops which consume less water, while a campaign will be launched to encourage the government and private sectors, as well as the public, to use water sparingly.

According to the Office of National Water Resources, the country’s 35 main reservoirs contain a combined total of 49.688 billion cubic metres of raw water, but only 26.143 billion cubic metres are useable, which is about 9,711 billion cubic metres less than the previous year. 

The three new measures will be submitted to the cabinet for approval.