Thailand’s irrigation officials have been told to brace for possible flooding, as the rainy season is expected to arrive sooner than normal this year, possibly in early May, and more rain than the 30-year average is predicted, according to Thaweesak Thanadechopol, deputy director-general of the Royal Irrigation Department, based on Met Office forecasts.
He said he has instructed officials in charge of all irrigation projects to manage the use of water, in line with the situation, and to make room in reservoirs for water inflow, which is expected to increase.
All large to medium-capacity reservoirs were 50% full after the last rainy season, with a combined water volume of 38,348 billion cubic metres, of which 14,419 billion cubic metres are for consumption.
The country’s four main reservoirs, namely Bhumibol, Sirikit, Khwae Noi Bamrung Daen and Pasak Jolasid, stored a combined total of 9,417 billion cubic metres of water at the end of the last rainy season, of which 82% has been used.
If the water management plans for 2020 and 2021 have gone according to plan, there will be sufficient water for consumption until the end of April, before the start of rainy season early May.
Thaweesak said that irrigation officials were also told to check their equipment, to make sure it is in good working order for when it is needed.