Sunday, August 25, 2019

Govt agencies meet today to discuss drought measures 

Jul 22. 2019
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By The Nation

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The Office of National Water Resources will today (Monday) hold a meeting with other government agencies to discuss measures for dealing with the upcoming drought, the ONWR secretary general said.

Somkiart Prajamwong, ONWR secretary general, said a meeting will be held for representatives of other agencies to discuss the situation with respect to the levels of water in reservoirs nationwide. The agencies include the Agriculture Ministry, the Agricultural Extension Department, the Royal Irrigation Department, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and the Provincial Water Authority.

Somkiart said all agencies are sharing information on water resources and cooperating but have no joint resolutions as each agency focuses on its own work. The meeting aims to improve collaboration. He added that the ONWR has assessed the available water in the areas expected to face drought if rains do not fall as expected.

The assessment by the ONWR will be used to adjust plans to regulate the release of water from reservoirs, Somkiart said.

He said it is now quite certain that many northeastern and central provinces would be hit by drought.

He said the water resources in northeastern provinces are now restricted for use for drinking and household use only, not for irrigation.

Somkiart said the ONWR has yet to evaluate the volume of water that recently flowed into the large and medium-sized water resources in the North, Central and Northeast and adjust the plans for water release.

He added that the ONWR has drafted a rain-making plan in an attempt to increase water levels in reservoirs for the next dry season.

He said the ONWR has also compiled maps of areas within a 50-kilometres radius of areas expected to be hit by drought. The maps have been sent to the Interior Ministry and the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry to help in drawing up measures that will deal with drought and the management of water resources for optimal results.

Somkiart said the agencies will share information about remaining water during the meeting so that the water resources could be managed and conserved to ensure an adequate supply.

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