Nakhon Ratchasima faces water shortage as rainy season begins

Image courtesy of KhaoSod

Nakhon Ratchasima faces a severe water shortage crisis just as the skies open for Thailand’s rainy season, with water reserves for the province’s water supply at a critical 34%. Lam Chae Dam, one of the key reservoirs, currently reports no new water inflows.

Farmers in the area downstream of Lam Chae Dam, one of the four main dams in Nakhon Ratchasima, located in Khon Buri district, have started the rice planting season. They have begun dry seeding due to some recent rainfall that allowed them to commence the agricultural season. This preparation is in anticipation of the dam releasing additional water in mid-July.

Director of the Lam Chae Water Delivery and Maintenance Project, Phongrit Chuenarom reported that the dam’s current water volume stands at approximately 96 million cubic metres, representing 35% of its total capacity of 275 million cubic metres. This is significantly below the normal threshold.

Since the start of the rainy season, the region has seen minimal rainfall, insufficient to generate substantial inflows into the dam. Only 7 million cubic metres of water have entered the reservoir, as most of the rainfall occurred outside the catchment area.

Chuenarom states his concerns over the lack of rain but hopes that the situation will not severely impact the initial water distribution for the upcoming rainy season.

The rice cultivation area spans over 95,000 rai, but there is hope that the La Niña phenomenon and potential incoming storms will bring more rain to the region. Such conditions would allow the dam to manage water resources adequately for the next year. The plan is to start releasing water for rice farming by mid-July.

Further reports indicate that as of today, water levels in Nakhon Ratchasima’s 27 large and medium-sized reservoirs collectively hold 463 million cubic metres, which is 38% of their total storage capacity of 1,220 million cubic metres. The usable water volume is just 400 million cubic metres or 34.5% of the total, reported KhaoSod.

The current water shortage poses a significant challenge for Nakhon Ratchasima, especially for agricultural activities that rely heavily on these water resources. Farmers and local agencies are closely monitoring weather patterns, hoping for increased rainfall to mitigate the crisis and ensure sufficient water supply for the upcoming farming season.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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