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InfoQuest

MOAC minister holds flood monitoring meeting for water management

September 09, 2019


Abstract : Today, a meeting was held in the Smart Water Operation Centre (SWOC) of the Royal Irrigation Department (RID), involving flood monitoring, measures for floods and droughts, and relief for affected people across the country.

InfoQuest, (Sept. 06, 2019) -- Today, a meeting was held in the Smart Water Operation Centre (SWOC) of the Royal Irrigation Department (RID), involving flood monitoring, measures for floods and droughts, and relief for affected people across the country. Mr. Chalermchai Sri-on, minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC), revealed that the meeting focused on flood and water management; a VDO conference was held together with RID office 1-17, when reports were made on droughts and floods, and preventable measures to mitigate losses; according to the reports, rainfall amount has begun to drop.

The major problems at this point are the floods in the north and northeast. The overall situations are being restored to normal, and if no heavy rainfall occurs, water hazard will be resolved in 2-3 days. Orders have been sent to all regions to pay attention to personal and equipment safety, and 24-hour patrol must be ensured. Yasothon, Amnat Charoen, and Ubon Ratchathani should get prepared to cope with floods from upstream rivers. When water from upstream accumulates, measures should be taken to channel water to Mekong River and reduce the amount of accumulated water locally as much as possible. It is better to channel floods into farmland or new water storage areas, which will avoid water resources waste. Currently, RID is figuring out how to tackle the problem.

Besides, the Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE) has been ordered to make investigations over floods and losses when floods recede. Governors of flood-affected provinces should gather all relevant information to submit a report, based on which the central government will assess losses and work out relief measures. It is estimated that farmers will harvest rice by the end of September, when 2-3 billion m3 of drainage receive area will be available. But at this moment, farmers should work to prevent accumulated water flowing to economic and agricultural areas to reduce damages. The minister reiterated that all water conservancy projects, particularly regions facing flood risks, should get prepared to cope with possible floods; all local officials are urged to follow closely and monitor flood situations, check each water conservancy project and hydraulic engineering building and ensure they are flood-ready, clear away trees and grass which might obstruct water channels, and manage water storage according to situations of different stages.

As for long-term water resources management, the minister has ordered RID to make investigations in Thung Bang Rakam, Thung Thale Luang, and other water storage areas. The above-mentioned two areas are used to store water for life and production in dry seasons, the right to use of which is acquired by the government by paying rent and other legal means. Besides, farmers can get extra income by releasing aquatic creatures and other means.

According to the recent monitoring over weather and floods, rain occurs in many regions of Thailand, causing water surge in reservoirs and rivers (data as of September 5, 2019); the total water storage in large and middle-sized reservoirs across the country is 46.331 billion m3, 61 percent of total water storage capacity; 22.401 billion m3 of water is available, and another 29 billion m3 of water can be stored, added Mr. Thongplew Kongjun, minister of RID. Currently, the total water storage amount of the four major reservoirs in the Mekong River drainage basin is 10.855 billion m3, 44 percent of total water storage capacity; 4.159 billion m3 of water is available, and another 14 billion m3 of water can be stored.

The water amount in major rivers and tributaries across the country has surged, particularly the Mekong River drainage. That is caused by heavy rainfall in the upper regions in Thailand, which flows to the Mekong River and adds to the river's volume  of runoff. At this point (data as of 08:00 on September 6, 2019), the water flow in C.2 hydrologic station of Mueang Nakhon Sawan is 1,399 m3/second, and the overall water level is 5 meters lower than banks. The water flow in the Menam River dam is 824 m3/second, which is poised to rise to 700-900 m3/second. When that happens, the water level in the final segment of the Menam River dam will rise sharply. The water level in Ban Krathum Village, Hua Wiang Town, Sena County, Tha Din Dang Town, and Phak Hai County in Ayutthaya Province will rise about 0.50-1.00 meters. Such a water amount will not affect regions along the Menam River.

Currently 14 provinces are savaged by floods, including Phichit, Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Phetchabun, Yasothon, Roi Et, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Amnat Charoen, Sakon Nakhon, and Nakhon Phanom. To offer relief to affected areas, the RID of MOAC has sent various machinery and tools, including 83 draining pumps, 56 propellers, six trucks, and 20 siphons to relevant areas.

Source: InfoQuest, by Nisarat Wichiensri / Rachada, translated by Xinhua Silk Road

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Keyword: Infoquest Thailand

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