Cloud seeders back in Phuket

PHUKET: Despite recent rain showers, the Royal Rainmaking Project has been called in again to help stave off yet another looming water shortage in Phuket.

Isara Anukul, Chief of the Water Allocation Division of the Phuket Irrigation Office (PIO), told the Gazette on Wednesday, “The water level in Bang Wad Reservoir [Phuket’s main water source] has dropped to 450,000 cubic meters … That is enough to last about a month.”

K. Isara said, “We have been making plans to cope with a water shortage since February because there has been very little rain since the beginning of the year.

“Officers from the Royal Rainmaking Project will come to help solve this problem. We will start making ‘artificial rain’ [cloud seeding] this Saturday [August 20],” he said.

Cloud seeding is the process whereby chemical compounds – silver iodide particles, frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) crystals or even salt – are dispersed into clouds, by either aircraft or large, ground-launched flares.

The theory behind cloud seeding is that it introduces other particles into a cloud to serve as “cloud condensation nuclei” – the tiny particles of dust ever-present in the sky around which rain droplets form – which could induce a greater amount of precipitation.

K. Isara explained that Phuket’s water authorities will also seek help from private companies and privately-owned water reserves, namely tin mine lagoons that are already used to supplement the mains water supply.

The PIO will use a lagoon at Sri Suchart Grand View, in Soi Pa-niang, to supplement the Phuket City Municipality supply and another in Kathu to add to the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority supply, he said.

Sayun Vareearunrod, Manager of the Phuket Waterworks Office (PWO), told the Gazette that the PWO will be relying on the Khun Banlue Water Resource in Kathu to supplement the PWO’s supply.

Phuket News
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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