By NATTHAPAT PROMKAEW
A 12-YEAR plan to manage water resources has been drawn up by the government to sustainably overcome drought crises, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday, in the 24th government newsletter.
He stressed that water management should not be as inefficient as it has been in the past because the stability of water supplies was a key factor in the national economy and society.
The government was also applying royal guidance to the plan, aiming to balance production systems and usage in every capacity, the prime minister said.
Royal guidance in regard to protecting and restoring natural resources and the development of society by building people’s self-reliance had been successful, he said, as demonstrated by 4,000 water-resource development projects.
The government would employ Pracha Rath, or “state of people”, projects to link value chains together, Prayut said.
The Pracha Rath mechanism is meant to ensure that economic reforms integrate with the agricultural and industrial sectors.
Prayut also urged concerned parties to cooperate, adding that he promised not to leave any sector behind.
The plan comes as a harsh drought severely affects the country. Prayut said the government had determined the water cycle was disturbed, leading to imbalances and eventually the drought.
He said previous uncontrolled agricultural policies had led to the destruction of 10 million rai (1.6 million hectares) of forest and water resources.
Water resources had been abused for the benefit of particular groups, Prayut added, and agriculture, which accounted for 71 per cent of water use nationwide, had been affected.