B53bn allotted for EEC water supply
Studies probe for new sources
The government is committed to investing 52.9 billion baht from now to 2037 to ensure sufficient water supply for its flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
According to Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the EEC Office, such spending covers 38 projects that are capable of supplying an additional 872 million cubic metres of water a year.
As of the end of June, nine projects worth 4.14 billion baht have already completed development, supplying an additional 174 million cu m of water.
A critical study about underground water development in the EEC was recently completed, he said.
The study by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry showed underground development can supply a total of 4 billion cu m of water to the EEC.
Mr Kanit said 11 projects worth 11.3 billion baht are under construction and scheduled to be completed between 2021 and 2024. Those projects can provide an additional 101 million cu m of water to the EEC.
"The government still needs to speed up an additional 18 projects worth 37.5 billion baht that are scheduled to commence construction between 2023 and 2030, to supply an another 597 cu m of water," he said.
Mr Kanit said the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand is conducting a feasibility study for investment in a seawater reverse osmosis system to produce fresh water as part of efforts to tackle water shortages in the long run.
The study is due to be complete later this year. Investment in such a system is projected to come from the private sector.
He said underground water development and a seawater reserve osmosis system are going to be included in the EEC's water development plan.
Water demand in the EEC is 1.295 billion cu m a year, 47% of which is used by the manufacturing sector, 34% is for irrigation for farming, and the rest for consumption.
The water supply is 1.323 billion cu m.
Estimated water demand in the EEC in 2027 is 1.493 billion cu m, with supply at 1.823 billion cu m.