Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Agriculture Ministry takes measures to tackle drought threat

Jul 20. 2019
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By The Nation

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The new leadership at the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry plans a series of measures to deal with the imminent drought situation.



Chief among them is a reduction in the release volume of water from two key dams in the North, expected to save 10 million rai of rice paddies in the Central Region from going dry.

Many dams in the upper central provinces south of Bhumibhol in Tak province and Sirikit dam in Uttaradit province will also be temporarily restricted from trapping the water for their own use, to make sure water from both the major dams can travel to feed rice paddies down in the Central.

The daily release of water from the Bhumibol and Sirikit dams will be reduced to 40 million cubic metres, from the regular volume of 50 million, a ministry source said.

The measures were enacted after four ministers recently visited the ministry. They have started paying visits to many provinces and both dams on Friday to start their work.

Deputy minister Thammanas Phromphao said he would talk to the deputy prime minister in charge of national security on July 22 to seek help from the military in coping with the drought.

Deputy minister Praphat Phothasuthon said that most rice paddies would be at great risk if the regular rain volume were not available in the next two months, as the main water release from the two key dams needed to be limited.

Praphat also said it was important that operators of all dams abide by the new arrangements -- by not trapping the water for their own use, until it was their turn.

Praphat added that all the measures could be implemented without having to announce them as a policy in the Parliament session scheduled for July 25-26, as a drought is regarded an emergency issue.

Thammanas said both departments involved in cloud-seeding operations would soon be instructed to target areas in need of rains. He also said that the military would be asked to make sure that all dams strictly follow the rules.

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