Preparing for the coming drought

Sudchai Prommolmat, the Director of the Chiang Mai Irrigation Department and team inspected the water gates in Padad today in anticipation of the coming rains.


Sudchai said that following the droughts of 2019 and 2020 so far, and anticipating a drier year than normal this year, which is expected to be comparable to the water levels of 2015, which was the driest year the Mekong sub-region in 93 years.

So far this year there has been only 860ml of water, which is slightly more than had accumulated by the same time in 2015.


There is currently 48.92 million cubic metres of water in Mae Ngad Nam, which is at 18.45% capacity. While Mae Ngad Dam has 61.91 million cubic metres, or 23.54% of capacity. There are also 18 medium-sized reservoirs with a combined total of 28 million cubic metres of water and 191 smaller reservoirs with 34 million cubic metres.

To best manage the resource, the department will release only one million cubic metres of water per week for the next nine weeks, or until the end of July.

There are also other water resources, a total of ten, which can hold 5.2 million cubic metres and is about half full at this point. The department believes that with good water management we will be able to survive the drought unscathed.

Read this article about how Chiang Mai manages its water resources.