76 districts in Thailand facing water shortages

76 districts in Thailand facing water shortages
A farmer sits next to her ox beside a dry canal in Nakhonsawan province, north of Bangkok, Thailand
PHOTO: Reuters

As many as 76 districts in various provinces including Bangkok are facing the risk of water shortages over the next few months, Agriculture Ministry meeting documents revealed yesterday.

Bangkok's Nong Chok district would lack about 58 million cubic metres of water from February to April.

The districts facing the prospect of water shortages are located in 28 provinces including Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, Chaiyaphum and Ubon Ratchathani.

Sombat Meelaksanasom, a senior irrigation official in Chaiyaphum, said more than 60 pump stations under his agency's supervision in the province did not receive adequate raw water from a river in the area to supply tap-water services anymore.

"A drought crisis is imminent if significant rainfall does not arrive soon," he said.

While the country's rainy season usually starts in April, several experts have warned that the wet season may come late this year. Government assistant spokesperson Colonel Taksada Sangkhachan tried to downplay concerns about the drought.

"The country's current water supply for consumption should last till early August. It's just that people should help save water," she said.

She urged farmers to grow crops that use little water and are drought resistant.

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