Mae Kuang Dam Water Level Critically Low

 | Wed 15 Jul 2015 08:58 ICT

CityNews — July 14th 2015- Reports indicate that there is still a severe water shortage in many areas of Chiang Mai which is impacting the lives of local residents. From a survey on the remaining water supply, only 7 percent or 18 million cubic metres of the current water supply can be used. Although there has been some rainfall in many areas around Chiang Mai, the dry soil soaks in all the water, allowing very little water to flow into the natural waterways. This is particularly prominent in areas that have received a lot of rainfall, but is not located in the water collecting areas above the dams and reservoirs.

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Water collecting areas above Mae Ngat dam in Mae Tang district and particularly water collecting areas above Mae Kuang Udomtara dam in Doi Saket district are experiencing the most severe water shortage in the past 21 years. The Mae Kuang dam is able to store 263 million cubic metres of water, but is currently storing only 32 million cubic metres- 12 percent of its capacity. Out of the stored water, only seven percent can be used to facilitate water diversions around the Mae Kuang dam watershed and processed into the city’s water supply. The dam water only increased by 0.56 million cubic meters after recent rainfall. If the amount of water in the dam remains at this level, it is expected that there will be a water crisis within the end of this month (another fifteen days). If there continues to be no rain, it is predicted that there will be a shortage of raw water that is needed for the production of tap water for Doi Saket, Samkampang, Chiang Mai City, and certain areas in Lampoon.

This morning, reporters surveyed Mae Kuang Udomtara dam and discovered that because Mae Kuang dam’s water level is the lowest since the past 21 years, sand bars in the middle of the dam have now risen above the water level. Many aquatic animals that live in the dam such as crabs, fish, and clams have become stranded on the sand bars. Some dried up after the small puddles of water that they lived in have completely evaporated. The villagers’ fishing boats have had to be lowered by hundreds of metre- subsequent to the decreased water levels in the dam.