Two reservoirs will be built in Phrae to manage water problems in the northern province, Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi says.
Speaking during a visit to the province, Mr Plodprasop said the government has decided to build two dams along the Yom River instead of reviving the Kaeng Sua Ten dam, which conservationists are bitterly opposed to.
Mr Plodprasop, who is chairman of the government's Water Management and Flood Prevention Commission, said what the only thing left to do is to hold public hearings.
The deputy prime minister insisted that without the reservoirs, water problems in Phrae would persist.
He said the Yom River is the country's only major river without a reservoir to help manage water.
Mr Plodprasop said an upper dam will store water from the north, while a lower dam will store water from other streams which usually cause flooding in Phrae.
He also called on supporters of the reservoir project to help the government communicate with those who disagree.
He said the government would do its best to rehabilitate natural resources in the province.
The Kaeng Sua Ten dam scheme was one of the country's most controversial projects.
Conceived as a hydroelectric power project, it was later changed to an irrigation project but is still opposed by environment activists.
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Writer: THAWEESAK SUKKHASEM