PHUKET TOWN: Phuket Town Mayor Phummisak Hongsyok has warned that Phuket faces a shortage of water within five years, and that not enough is being done to solve the problem. At a press conference yesterday the Mayor complained that Phuket’s infrastructure is not being developed to keep up with the increasing demand from local residents and tourists. “Phuket is a tourist destination,” he said. “But what does the Tourism Authority of Thailand do for Phuket, except to promote Phuket? “I’d like to know what Minister Somsak Thepsuthin, who is in charge of tourism, does for our province,” he said. Mayor Phummisak said that a new water management system must be put into place, and that people’s water use habits would have to change. “People don’t recognize the value of water here; they think it will last forever,” he said. He explained that the municipality has to buy water from tin mine owners over the dry season to meet demand. Local officials were looking into tapping into underground reservoirs to increase supply, the Mayor explained. But, he added, Bangkok was not providing the municipality with a proper budget to go ahead with such a project. “We have discussed this problem since 1995, but it seems that these issues remain frozen,” said the Mayor. “It’s like what they say about NATO,” he said, “No Action, Talk Only.”
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