CityNews – Chiang Mai Regional Irrigation Office has claimed that if no rain falls in the next few weeks, then the current water reserves in Northern Thailand could be used up in the next two months.
Almost two hundred thousand rai of useable farming land has seen planting postponed until the rains begin again.
According to Director of Regional Irrigation Office 1 Januwat Lertsilpachalearn, there is roughly 1.6 million rais of land in the area. 400 thousand rai are listed as grade A land, which receieves water and irrigation from large and medium water reserves. Another 400 thousand rai are listed as grade B, which gets water from smaller water reserves and pumps from local water sources. The remaining 800 thousand rai are listed as grade C, which rely entirely on rain water.
Postponement of planting news crops in grade A areas are due to the extremely low water levels at the Mae Guang Udom Thara Dam.
Januwat also stated that to conserve water, tap usage should be limited. Currently the Regional Irrigation Office releases around 132,000 cubic metres of water each day.
Another priority is the care and conservation of ecology systems in the local rivers. Normally, 110 million cubic metres of water are used for this issue, but given the low water levels, has already been reduced to 80 million cubic metres.
Chiang Mai Zoo is also suffering from the lack of rain fall as many of the water reserves they collect from run-off from Doi Suthep has been exhausted. This water is used to feeding and watering animals. If no rain falls by the end of July, all the Zoo’s water will be used up.
Special Royal Rainmaking Centres have set up more flights to try and encourage rain coluds to produce rain. Nuenghatai Tantiplubthong, Director of the Northern Royal Rainmaking Centre, revealed that two flights were flown on July, 1. The first flight started from Om Koi, Ta Song Yang in Tak and Hod and the other flight were off from Om Koi until Mae Jam.
In the morning of July 2, Northern Royal Rainmaking Centre had flown one plane from Om Koi to Mae Jam and two planes in Hod, Jom Thong and Doi Tao.