Friday, March 05, 2021

Drying up of Yom River marks early arrival of drought

Jan 22. 2021
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By THE NATION

Thailand’s yearly drought has arrived earlier than usual, with Yom River in Phichit and Sukhothai completely drying out and water sources in Chanthaburi getting low.

Farmers in Phichit have started digging wells to pull up water, so their rice crops can be irrigated. Digging wells is not new for Phichit residents, but they usually do this in March.

Farmer Pradit Chimpipop said pulling water up from underground was the only way of irrigating his 30 rais.

Yom River runs through Phichit’s districts of Sam Ngam, Pho Prathap Chang, Bung Narang and Pho Thale.

This dreaded dryness was also reported in Sukhothai, while authorities in Phrae have built dikes on the Yom River to avoid a shortage of water.

Meanwhile, the Khao Soi Dao waterfall in Chanthaburi’s Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary is running low, which will affect water sources in the East of the country.

An official at the wildlife sanctuary said drought this year has arrived a month earlier.

Sutat Weesakul, the Hydro Informatics Institute chief, was quoted by Thairath newspaper as saying that the La Niña phenomenon had in August 2020 brought heavy rain and floods to the South. If this phenomenon were to continue, then there should be regular rainfall in other regions from April onwards.

He also said that rain this year should be 9 to 10 per cent more than last year.

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