Reservoir overflow in Thailand: Alert for potential downstream flooding

Photo: Sunthorn Pongpao/Bangkok Post

A recent alert has been issued by the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR) on the sudden rise of water levels in nine significant reservoirs. The ONWR revealed that these reservoirs are brimming with excess water that needs to be discharged swiftly. The reservoir overflow could potentially impact downstream areas in the coming days.

The ONWR has been vigilantly observing the nation’s water condition amidst an ongoing monsoon trough. This weather event, predominantly affecting the north and northeast, has been causing heavy rainfall in these regions. Consequently, a surge of run-off into river basins and reservoirs is expected from today till tomorrow. This sudden influx may necessitate a rapid discharge of surplus water from the reservoirs starting tomorrow until the following Wednesday.

The nine reservoirs that have reached their capacity, referred to as their upper rule curve, include Mae Ngat Sombun Chon Reservoir in Chiang Mai, Kiew Lom Reservoir and Mae Mok Reservoir in Lampang, Huai Luang Reservoir in Udon Thani, Nam Phung Reservoir and Nong Han Reservoir in Sakon Nakhon, Ubonrat Reservoir in Khon Kaen, Lam Pao Reservoir in Kalasin, and Khun Dan Prakan Chon Reservoir in Nakhon Nayok.

Apart from these large reservoirs that have reached critical water levels, smaller and medium-sized reservoirs have also reported an average of 80% full capacity, according to the ONWR. Given the reservoir overflow circumstances, the increased water discharge from these reservoirs could impact downstream areas significantly.

Specifically, in the Yom River basin, several areas have been put on high alert for potential flooding. These include Sri Satchanalai, Sawankhalok, Muang, and Kong Krailat districts of Sukhothai; Phrom Phiram and Bang Rakam districts in Phitsanulok; and Sam Ngam and Pho Thale districts of Phichit. In the Mun River basin, certain districts in Ubon Ratchathani have been given a similar flood warning. Furthermore, some districts of Roi Et, located in the Yang River basin, are also on high alert for possible flooding, reported Bangkok Post.

On a related note, Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsutin expressed serious concerns over the potential impact of increasing water discharge rates, from 1,400 cubic metres per second to over 1,500 cu/m/second, at the Chao Phraya Dam starting yesterday.

He specifically pointed out that Bangkok needs to brace itself for possible flooding scenarios.

Follow more of The Thaiger’s latest stories on our new Facebook page HERE.

Thailand 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.

Related Articles