Phuket

Underway: B30mn study to pipe water to Phuket

PHUKET: The Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA) on Thursday raised the public’s awareness of a 30-million-baht feasibility study investigating the possibility of piping water from Surat Thani to Phuket. The study was launched on June 24.

“The project aims to provide enough water to support the growing number of residents and tourists in Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi and Surat Thani for next 20 years,” PWA Deputy Governor Somkiat Piriyagolgul said at a public information meeting on Thursday.

“These four provinces are renowned as tourist destinations for foreigners, and the number of visitors to these areas increases every year,” Mr Somkiat said.

Mr Somkiat, the national-level official responsible for public water supply along the Andaman seaboard, explained that the project aimed to pipe water from the Ratchaprapa Dam, at the eastern end of the Chieo Lan Reservoir in Khao Sok National Park.

The feasibility study being conducted by Asdecon Corporation Co Ltd is contracted to take 420 days; it is set to conclude on August 17, 2014.

Mr Somkiat explained that the study was exploring three options:

1. Having Surat Thani supply untreated water to Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi

2. Having Surat Thani supply treated water to Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi

3. Having Surat Thani supply untreated water to Phang Nga and Krabi, but then have a station in Phang Nga supply treated water to Phuket.

“The total distance of the pipe [from Surat Thani to Phuket] would be 182 kilometers. We plan to install the pipe beside the main road to minimize any adverse effects on local villagers. However, the size of pipe has yet to be determined,” said Mr Somkiat.

“At this stage, we are still calculating how much water would need to be transferred to Phuket. The calculation will be finished by the end of this month,” he said.

The meeting in Phuket Town on Thursday was among the first public information meetings held to announce the project.

“We have yet to choose the exact route, and so far people seem evenly divided among the three options we have presented,” Mr Somkiat explained.

A second public information meeting will be held in Phuket before the end of the year, he assured, though a date has yet to be set for that event.

“Once the feasibility study has been done and the project has successfully passed its Environmental Impact Assessment [EIA] requirements, the project will be presented to the Cabinet for approval,” Mr Somkiat said.

— Saran Mitrarat

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