Prachuap Khiri Khan braces for drought after significant rainfall shortage

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Pranburi Dam. File photo. For illustrative purposes only.

Officials in Prachuap Khiri Khan are gearing up for a challenging dry season ahead, following a significant decrease in rainfall.

The province, known for its lush landscapes and agricultural productivity, faces a critical situation with water resources dwindling to concerning levels.

Mr. Decha Rueangon, the head of the Prachuap Khiri Khan Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office, highlighted the severity of the impending drought, stating that many areas could suffer serious consequences.

The lack of rain during the previous dry season has resulted in the region recording a 50% drop in rainfall compared to the five-year average, leading to a sharp reduction in water availability.

As of February 5, 2024, the nine primary reservoirs in the province hold only 175 million cubic meters of water, equating to 35% of their total capacity. This figure is a stark contrast to the 60% capacity recorded during the same period last year. In response to the crisis, provincial authorities have paused water distribution for agricultural purposes, shifting focus to prioritize domestic and consumption needs.

Efforts to mitigate the drought’s impact have started, with plans in place to ensure water distribution to residents facing shortages. The province has called upon its citizens, especially farmers, to adopt water conservation practices and carefully plan their usage to prevent crop losses.

In particularly vulnerable areas, such as Bang Saphan and Bang Saphan Noi, which lack substantial water sources, officials have conducted surveys to identify backup water sources. This measure aims to enable the Provincial Waterworks Authority to install emergency water treatment units, ensuring the availability of water to the populace should natural sources deplete further.

Additionally, Prachuap Khiri Khan is coordinating with the Royal Rainmaking Department and the Agricultural Aviation to commence cloud seeding operations, aiming to artificially induce rainfall as soon as weather conditions are favorable.

Officials released the following data on water levels in the dams and reservoirs in Prachuap Khiri Khan. The data was released on Feb 7, 2024:

  • Pranburi Dam, Pranburi District, has a capacity of 391,000 million cubic meters (m³) with a current water volume of 144,696 million m³, which is 37.01%.
  • Huai Sai Ngam Reservoir, Hua Hin District, has a capacity of 9,500 million m³ with a current water volume of 2,085 million m³, or 21.95%.
  • Huai Mongkol Reservoir, Hua Hin District, has a capacity of 5,850 million m³ with a current water volume of 1,006 million m³, or 17.20%.
  • Yang Chum Reservoir, Kui Buri District, has a capacity of 41,100 million m³ with a current water volume of 12,770 million m³, or 31.07%.
  • Huai Wang Tend Reservoir, Kui Buri District, has a capacity of 11,400 million m³ with a current water volume of 4,075 million m³, or 35.75%.
  • Khlong Bueng Reservoir, Muang District, has a capacity of 22,200 million m³ with a current water volume of 5,306 million m³, or 23.90%.
  • Huai Ang Hin Reservoir, Muang District, has a capacity of 2,800 million m³ with a current water volume of 1,009 million m³, or 36.04%.
  • Khlong Chong Lom Reservoir, Thap Sakae District, has a capacity of 5,500 million m³ with a current water volume of 843 million m³, or 15.33%.
  • Khlong Cha Kra Reservoir, Thap Sakae District, has a capacity of 10,400 million m³ with a current water volume of 1,478 million m³, or 14.21%.

Officials observed that Pranburi Dam, Yang Chum Reservoir, Huai Wang Tend Reservoir, and Huai Ang Hin Reservoir still have adequate water volumes. However, the two locations in Hua Hin District, one in Muang District, and two in Thap Sakae District have low water volumes, posing a risk.

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