Severe water shortage threatens Phi Phi Island businesses in Krabi

Image courtesy of The Nation

For more than two months residents of Phi Phi Island have been grappling with an intense water shortage, which has brought some business operations on the brink of temporary closure if the situation persists.

Although Phi Phi Island is no stranger to water shortages, having experienced similar situations during peak tourist seasons in the past years, this occasion may affect its title as a popular resort destination.

Sanphet Sisawat, Krabi Tourism Association President, reveals that the private company responsible for supplying tap water to the island’s households, businesses and resorts stopped its service on April 23 as the water reserve in its five rai area was nearly depleted.

Notably, certain business operators have resorted to buying raw water from Krabi’s downtown areas for consumption. Additionally, even large hotels, resorts and businesses on the island are reportedly almost out of water from their artesian wells, considering temporary shutdowns if the situation does not improve soon.

According to Sanphet, this crisis has inflicted substantial damage on the island’s tourism operators, triggering cancellations of hotel bookings and tour programmes.

To alleviate the situation, the Krabi provincial authority requested the Third Navy Region to supply 100,000 litres of fresh water per ride from its base in Phuket. The authority is also contemplating hiring private logistics ships to transport an additional 200,000 litres of water per ride to the locals.

Desperate measures

Meanwhile, similar drought conditions are affecting many areas on Krabi’s mainland. Efforts by local authorities to harness raw water from reservoirs and induce artificial rain have not been fruitful, as water levels in these reservoirs remain critically low.

The Krabi Provincial Waterworks Authority is said to be working on a three-part mitigation plan, the first stage of which involves renting three mobile water production plants on a short-term basis.

The water shortage crisis is not limited to Krabi, tourist hotspots in Pattaya in Chon Buri and Koh Chang in Trat are also feeling the pinch.

In Pattaya, the private company supplying tap water has struggled to meet the increasing demand due to soaring temperatures and a surge in tourist numbers. This has resulted in water shortages in Pattaya and Si Racha district of Chon Buri, particularly in mountainous areas.

Despite these challenges, the Provincial Waterworks Authority Division 1 has stepped up its efforts by arranging water deliveries to residents’ doorsteps.

In Koh Chang, a notable tourist attraction, the Khlong Phlu waterfall in Moo Koh Chang National Park, has been temporarily closed since May 3 due to insufficient water levels. Other waterfalls in the park have also been closed for at least a month, marking a rare occurrence, according to Niramitr Songsaeng, head of the national park.

Environment NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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