Phi Phi Islands tackle critical water shortage

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Krabi’s renowned Phi Phi Islands are currently wrestling with a critical freshwater shortage. The local governing body, Ao Nang’s Tambon Administration Organisation (TAO), is considering two primary solutions: establishing a pipeline for water provision from the mainland or resorting to seawater desalination.

Over the last few years, the absence of tap water during the tourist high season, coinciding with the dry spell, has presented a persistent problem. Phankham Kittitorakul, who presides over Ao Nang’s TAO, confirmed the receipt of a budget to explore the aforementioned options.

The urgency of this issue escalates as the water reserve of Water Hill Company Limited, the private entity that caters to the freshwater needs of households, businesses, and various hospitality establishments on the Phi Phi islands, nears depletion.

The company has projected that its supply capacity would cease by Tuesday. Following that, it will resort to a two-hour daily distribution until its reserve either refills with rainwater or completely runs dry, mandating further changes.

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The Ao Nang TAO’s artesian well and water reserve, which typically provides raw water to private companies for tap water production, have also been exhausted. Water prices on the island have reportedly sky-rocketed, reaching 200 baht per cubic metre.

This predicament is anticipated to primarily affect households and small businesses without their artesian wells. However, larger establishments such as hotels and resorts on the islands have expressed that their operations are unaffected due to their independent artesian wells, which ensure a sufficient tap water supply for visitors.

Ittichai Tanbutr, Vice President of the Pattana Krabi (Krabi development) group, noted that the water shortages in Krabi are intensifying. He reported that the Provincial Waterworks Authority’s office in the province has been compelled to restrict water pressure and limit distribution periods in many areas since Thursday, reported Bangkok Post.

Ittichai urged the government to devise a systematic and sustainable solution to this escalating problem. The Phi Phi islands, comprising Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Lay, and several smaller islets, are amongst the province’s most frequented tourist attractions.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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