The irrigation department of Thailand will drastically reduce the rate of water flow from the Bhumibhol and Sirikit dams over the next few months. It has warned farmers in the regions of Central Plains not to start the third rice crop. Kicha Polparsi, deputy permanent secretary of the agriculture and cooperatives ministry said: Let me warn farmers that water scarcity in May and June 1999 will be severe and there will not be enough water for the third crop. The farmers will suffer losses, he added.
The warning was given despite heavy rainfall in early February that had increased the water volume in Bhumibhol and Sirikit dams by 25 million cu/m. The rain also raised the levels in natural water sources like marshes and canals by about 50 centimetres. Kicha said the water use for the second rice crop has slowed. He also said farmers in upper-central provinces such as Nakhon Sawan, Tak, Kamphaeng Phet and Sukhothai have cooperated with the ministry's water rationing plan and have not pumped as much water as they did earlier.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.