11 July 2024

About a year ago, irrigation officials were discharging excess water through Ubonrat dam to increase reservoir capacity to ease flood problems in Thailand’s northeastern province of Khon Kaen. Today, the same officials are urging people in the province to use water sparingly and farmers to suspend second-crop cultivation and to turn to crops which require less water.

Mr. Songvuth Kitvoravuth, director of irrigation and maintenance at the Nong Wai project, said today that the rate of water entering Ubonrat reservoir has dropped by 25% since August 2018. There are now an estimated 700 million cubic metres left, with only 125 million cubic metres actually usable because the balance of 575 million cubic meters must be retained for other purposes.

Additionally, the Khon Kaen provincial administration is seeking cooperation from people in the province to switch off their air conditioners every Friday from 7 pm-8 pm to save energy.

Officials were also told to stop providing mobile water pumps to help irrigate farmland in order to conserve water.

Earlier, the Meteorological Department said that the average temperatures in northern Thailand, including the northeastern region, will reach about 40 degrees Celsius this summer.