Koh Phi Phi water shortage, locals call for sustainable solutions

Photo via Facebook/ Thai PBS ศูนย์ข่าวภาคใต้

Locals and business operators on Koh Phi Phi island in the southern province of Krabi called on the government to find a long-term solution to annual water shortages. A private water supply company on the island stopped distributing water on Tuesday, April 23.

Channel 3 reported the private water supply company announced to the residents of Koh Phi Phi that the company had to stop distributing water from April 23 onwards because it did not have enough water for the operation.

The media reported that the company’s reservoir, spanning 8,000 square metres of land, had depleted to its lowest level. Similarly, the Royal Irrigation Department’s reservoir, covering 4,800 square metres, also experienced a decline to its lowest point.

Small business owners on the island were compelled to purchase water at prices ranging from 150 to 200 baht per 1,000 litres to sustain their operations. Meanwhile, larger enterprises managed to circumvent the issue by utilising their private groundwater sources.

Residents informed the media that the water supply had been restricted to morning and evening hours for over a month before the private water supply company ceased distribution.

The Thai authorities tried to engineer some cloud seeding to create artificial rain since April 23 but the process was unsuccessful. There were no rains in the targeted area.

The Deputy Chief of Ao Nang Sub-district Administrative Office, Praset Wongna, reported that authorities planned to buy water supply from a private company on the mainland of Krabi province and transfer the water to the island, about 300,000 litres at a time.

The representative of the business operators on the island, Thanawat Phukaoluan, told Thansettakij that Koh Phi Phi was the national park that made the most money for the country but the island faces a water shortage issue every year.

The solution involved buying water and transporting it to the island, leading to increased expenses for locals and business owners.

Thanawat proposed that the government explore the construction of a desalination plant, suggesting that numerous private sector investors would likely be interested in contributing to the investment. He also recommended that the government adopt a similar approach to Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui by installing water supply pipes beneath the sea.

Furthermore, Thanawat emphasised the urgency for government action on the matter, highlighting that Koh Phi Phi is a popular destination for international tourists.

South Thailand NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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