About the floods
A 200km super canal to drain runoff from the natural canals around Bangkok into the sea, handling 1.6 billion cubic metres of water at 6,000 cu/m per second.
Photo of flood tunnel under Bangkok during the opening ceremony earlier this year. This is the Rama IX-Ramkhamhaeng water drainage tunnel to drain flood waters from Saen Saep and Lat Phrao canals into the Chao Phraya River. This sort of "giant tunnel" is mentioned in the article (Photo: 16-02-2011, Somchai Poomlard).
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FLOODING: Experts urge 'super waterway', Outline new strategy to drain future runoff by Lamphai Intathep
A team of disaster experts from Chulalongkorn University says the construction of an express floodway is needed if certain areas of the country are to avoid future flood disasters.
The team, led by Thanawat Jarupongsakul, a lecturer at the faculty of science's Unit for Disaster and Land Information Studies has proposed 11 flood preventive measures to permanently deal with flood disasters.
"One of the urgent solutions is a super-express floodway," he said.
The floodway will link existing natural canals to drain runoff, starting from the 134km Chai Nat-Pasak canal stretching from Manorom district of Chai Nat to Tha Rua district of Ayutthaya, the 32km Rapeepat canal from Ha Rua district of Ayutthaya to Rangsit of Pathum Thani and the 30km Phra Ong Chaiyanuchit canal from Rangsit to the sea in Samut Prakan.
The total length of the super-express floodway would be about 200km. It would hold about 1.6 billion cubic metres of water and drain runoff at a rate of 6,000 cu/m per second.
Mr Thanawat said there should be 1km of empty land and two motorways (inbound and outbound) 6m above ground level along both sides of the floodway. He said this would prevent communities or properties next to the floodway from being inundated.
He said details such as the width and depth of canals needed to be further investigated.
"This idea is much cheaper than digging a new river as a floodway," Mr Thanawat said.
He said in the past, there were several natural swamps, mostly in the west of the Central Plains, which had been turned into industrial estates and communities, so the natural floodway was blocked, resulting in areas being flooded.
To ease the flood problem, the super-express floodway should be built to directly drain the runoff into the sea.
This measure had helped to drain the water from upstream at the Chai Nat-Pasak canal.
"Of course, it will also have a bad effect as the areas along the canals have to be expropriated, but appropriate compensation must be provided to the affected residents," he said.
Other measures should include an early disaster warning system, water resource management as a whole, flood tax, use of a flood-risk map for urban development, public participation in disaster management, groundwater use control, farming periods in accordance with climate variability and establishment of a disaster organisation.
Mr Thanawat said a direct flood tax must be collected from provinces or areas which are located in flood prevention systems, and an indirect flood tax should be collected from the owners of properties under the protection of flood prevention systems.
The figure will be used to compensate those affected by the deluge and to help preserve natural floodways.
"Now, the government must stop [trying to] solve flood problems with political methods and turn its attention instead to these 11 measures, especially the super-express floodway," Mr Thanawat said.
This year's severe flooding was not from an excessive amount of rainfall, but [was due to] mistakes in the government's water management.
He said it should be realised the giant tunnels of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration can drain floodwater only in the city, not a massive volume of upstream runoff.
"If there is no step forward, foreign investors will eventually disappear from the country and the next generation will be still worried whether flooding will happen or not," he said.
(Source: Bangkok Post, FLOODING, Experts urge 'super waterway', Outline new strategy to drain future runoff, 15/11/2011, Lamphai Intathep, link)
urge - try hard to get someone to do something, persuade someone to do something กระตุ้น, ผลักดัน
strategy - a plan to achieve long term goals ('strategy' gives the big picture, 'tactics' the details)
runoff - rainfall that cannot be taken in by the soil and which flows into rivers, lakes or the sea ปริมาณของเหลวที่ไหลออก
disaster - something very bad that happens and causes a lot of damage or kills a lot of people ความหายนะ ภัยพิบัติ
construction - the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. การก่อสร้าง
faculty - a group of departments in a college which specialize in a particular subject or group of subjects คณะ
proposed - suggested (but not yet chosen or decided upon)
measures - actions taken to deal with a problem มาตราการ
permanently - for all time in the future อย่างเป็นการถาวร
urgent - must be done quickly; needing to be dealt with immediately ที่เร่งด่วน
link - to connect เชื่อม
natural - found in nature (not made in a factory by humans) ตามธรรมชาติ
rate - the level or speed at which something happens or changes, or the amount or number of times it happens or changes in a particular period อัตรา
empty - having nothing inside ว่างเปล่า
inbound - travelling towards a particular point, particular into a city ขาเข้า (opposite of outbound ขาออก)
inundated - flooded ถูกน้ำท่วม, จมลงใต้น้ำ
width - the distance across something from one side to the other ความกว้าง
depth - the distance down either from the top of something to the bottom, or to a distance below the top surface of something ความลึก
blocked - stopped, prevented from happening or passing by a place
ease - to make or become less severe, difficult, unpleasant, painful, etc ทำให้ง่าย บรรเทา
measure - an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
upstream - up the river (going against the water, to where the river starts)
compensation - money paid for some loss, harm or damage done to someone เงินชดเชย การจ่า่ยเงินชดเชย
residents - people who live in an area ผู้อยู่อาศัย ผู้อาศัย ราษฎรในบริเวณนั้น ชาวบ้านในบริเวณ ผู้อาศัยในบริเวณ
risk - danger, how likely or possible it is for a bad event that causes harm and damage ความเสี่ยง
urban - of or in a city or town ในเมือง
development - the gradual growth and formation of something
participation - when a person joins an activity, instead of just watching
climate - the general weather conditions usually found in a particular place สภาพอากาศ
climate variability - changes in the weather
direct - A affects D
indirect - A affects B affects C affects D (effect only comes through a chain of effects)
prevention - the act of preventing something, or things that people do in order to prevent something
figure - an amount of money จำนวนเงิน
compensate - pay for a loss or damage
preserve - to keep something as it is, especially in order to prevent it from being damaged or destroyed ทำให้คงอยู่, สงวน
severe - very serious and worrying ที่รุนแรง ที่น่าเป็นห่วง
excessive - much greater than is usual; too much of something มากเกินปริมาณที่พอดี
realised - understood
massive - very large in size, amount or numberใหญ่โต มหาศาล
volume - the quantity or amount of something
eventually - at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process ในที่สุด
generation - a group of people in society who are born and live around the same time รุ่น (คนรุ่นต่างๆ)
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