Rainmakers back in Phuket

PHUKET TOWN: The Royal rainmaking team and its aircraft are back in Phuket to try to alleviate the island’s water crisis. Whenever conditions are right, the team’s three aircraft are now seeding the clouds above the island in an emergency measure that is expected to cost 450,000 baht. Surachart Kuntavichayanont, Chief of the Phuket Agriculture and Cooperatives Office, which requested the help of the rainmakers, said that total rainfall this May was 200 mm less than in May 2002. The team of 26 pilots and 10 ground crew arrived on Sunday and will continue seeding for 20 days. If necessary, K. Surachart added, they will be asked to continue operating until the end of September. Water rationing has been proposed for Phuket Town, and other parts of the island already have severe restrictions because levels in the Bang Wad reservoir, the island’s main store of water, have reached a critically low point. K. Surachart added that long-term solutions proposed to Deputy Prime Minister Dr Somkid Jatusripitak included constructing a higher retaining wall for the reservoir, building a pipeline from Surat Thani and tapping more underground water supplies. Rainmaking operations last year were credited with boosting late-monsoon season falls.

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

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

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