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Thailand water crisis as billions of gallons go down the drain

Minister warns of severe shortage under impact of El Nino if people do not use their resources prudently.

THE GOVERNMENT has ordered all relevant agencies to be cautious in managing the country’s water supplies and also urged people to use water wisely, as the prospects of a severe drought appear on the horizon.

Deputy Prime Minister General Chatchai Sarikulya on Saturday expressed concern about a severe drought next year, as the climate in Thailand was drier than usual this year, due to the impact of El Nino.

He warned of the risks of serious water shortage if we remain unprepared and the reservoirs run low when the dry season returns in November.

Leading domestic and international agencies, including the Thai Meteorological Department and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have forecast that the El Nino phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean will remain mild for the rest of this year.

Hence, the Asia Pacific Region, including Thailand, will face a hotter climate and lesser rainfall

“We need to reconsider our water management strategy and reprioritise the water supply allocation for this year, because we have found worrying issues of low water deposits in our irrigation system and larger water demand due to unplanned agricultural expansion,” Chatchai said.

“Considering the long-term forecast of a drier-than-usual rainy season, if we fail to promptly handle these issues prudently, we will not be able to prevent the escalation of the localised water shortage problem into a nationwide disaster.”

Meanwhile millions of Thais throw billions of gallons down the drain as the Songkran Water Festival continues