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Floods: Managing dam water levels

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With the rainy season fast approaching, dam storage levels need to be cut from 80% to 45% to make room for new rain water.


dam water levels

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FLOOD PREVENTION: Irrigation dept looks at slashing dam levels by Apinya Wipatayotin & Pakawat Sunpituksaree


The Royal Irrigation Department is likely to slash water storage levels in the Bhumibol and Sirikit dams to 45% to make sure there is enough capacity for new inflows during the approaching rainy season.

RID deputy director-general Suthep Noipairoj yesterday said under the original plan, the water storage level in the Bhumibol dam was supposed to have stood at 55% on May 1, and for the Sirikit dam, 61%. 

However, the committee, comprising representatives from the RID and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand - the dams' operator - wants to cut storage levels in both dams to 45% in accordance with the government's flood prevention plan.

"The level might be adjusted again, depending on weather conditions," he said yesterday.

He said the department would submit the revised plan to the government's Strategic Formulation Committee for Water Resources Management (SCWRM) for approval on Friday.

Under the plan, the Bhumibol dam, in Tak province, and Sirikit dam, in Uttaradit, will discharge 2.8 billion cubic metres of water this month, 3.04 billion next month, and 3.09 billion in April

On May 1, there should be 6.04 billion cu/m in Bhumibol dam and 4.24 billion in Sirikit dam, or 45% of each dam's storage capacity, which is the same level as last year, Mr Suthep said.

As of yesterday, the storage levels of the Bhumibol and Sirikit dams were at 83% and 82% respectively.

The revised dam management plan, repairs of water drainage systems and the revised plan on agricultural harvesting would help minimise the impact of flooding should it happen again this year.

"We will have a better floodwater management plan this year," he said.

The water-pumping station at Chulalongkorn sluice gate in Pathum Thani province has also been upgraded so it can drain off water at 100 cu/m per second, up from 36 cu/m per second, he added. 

Anond Snidvongs, an academic with the SCWRM, said floods may still occur this year, but they should not be as serious as last year.

"I believe this year's rains won't exceed last year's levels, but it will ultimately depend on how we manage the water," he said after a SCWRM meeting at Government House yesterday.

The committee is looking to make use of about 2 million rai of land covering an area from Phitsanulok to Suphan Buri, to hold up floodwater.

From Feb 13-17, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and SCWRM officials will inspect the water's course from Sirikit dam in Uttaradit province, through the Chao Phraya River basin, all the way to Chulalongkorn sluice gate.

Meanwhile, the cabinet yesterday approved in principle an additional 1.4 billion baht requested by the SCWRM to compensate around 273,400 flood-hit households in 53 provinces that had not yet received the government's 5,000 baht in financial assistance for affected households.For Bangkok, the cabinet approved in principle 2.3 billion baht for around 467,900 households, acting spokeswoman for the Prime Minister's Office Thitima Chaisang said.

(Source: Bangkok Post, FLOOD PREVENTION, Irrigation dept looks at slashing dam levels, 1/02/2012, Apinya Wipatayotin & Pakawat Sunpituksaree, link

Water Management Vocabulary

flood - a temporary covering by water of land not normally covered by water, an overflow of large amounts of water that puts normally dry land under water (submerges land) (See Wikipedia)

dam - a large barrier that stops the flow of water along a river, storing the water for different uses such as generating electricity (hydroelectricity), drinking water for far-away cities and for irrigation of crops during the dry season when there is no rain (See Wikipedia)

Bhumibol Dam - a concrete dam on the Ping River, a tributary of the Chao Phraya River, began operation in the 1970s "located about 480 km (298 mi) north of Bangkok and was built for the purposes of water storage, hydroelectric power production, flood control, fisheries and the management of saltwater intrusion downstream with its dry-season releases" (See Wikipedia)

Sirikit dam - a dam on the Nan River in Uttaradit Province, built for irrigation, flood control and hydroelectric power production, named after her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand, finished in 1972, the electricity generating power plants of the dam came into operation from 1974 to 1995, "the Bhumibol and Sirkit Dams control 22% of the Chao Phraya's annual runoff combined. Both dams also help provide for the irrigation of 1,200,000 hectares in the wet season and 480,000 hectares in the dry season" (See Wikipedia)

water management - planning the use of water resources, fairly allocating water to competing demands for water; for agriculture this means storing water behind dams for use during the dry season when there are droughts and very little water (See Wikipedia and also see the Wikipedia Water Portal)

irrigation - capturing water in one place and delivering through a system of pipes, ditches to farmers' plants to help them grow (See Wikipedia) การชลประทาน ระบบชลประทาน

slash - reduce; (of a budget, price, etc.) to cut, especially by a large amount ตัด
slash dam levels - reduce water in dam 
cut storage levels -
reduce amount stored
irrigation dept looks at slashing dam levels

storage - the putting and keeping of things in a special place for use in the future การเก็บ
capacity - the total amount that can be contained ปริมาณสูงสุดที่จะรับได้
storage capacity - the amount that can be kept or stored at or in a place
slash water storage levels - reduce the amount of water stored in the dam

prevention - taking action to stop some bad event from happening
flood prevention
flood prevention plan

the Royal Irrigation Department is likely to slash water storage levels in the Bhumibol and Sirikit dams to 45% to make sure there is enough capacity for new inflows during the approaching rainy season.

deputy - a person who is given the power to do something instead of another person, or the person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง, ตัวแทน,ผู้รักษาการแทน
deputy director-general

RID
deputy director-general Suthep Noipairoj yesterday said under the original plan, the water storage level in the Bhumibol dam was supposed to have stood at 55% on May 1, and for the Sirikit dam, 61%

comprising - consisting of ประกอบด้วย

however, the committee, comprising representatives from the RID and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand [EGAT] - the dams' operator - wants to cut storage levels in both dams to 45% in accordance with the government's flood prevention plan.

adjust water level - make changes in the water level
conditions
weather conditions
depending on weather conditions
the level might be adjusted again, depending on weather conditions

revised - rewritten, changed; improved, written again for a second time เปลี่ยนแปลง
revised plan
submit - to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา
submit plan
submit revised plan
approval - official permission การอนุมัต
submit plan for approval

he said the department would submit the revised plan to the government's Strategic Formulation Committee for Water Resources Management (SCWRM) for approval on Friday

discharge - to send out a substance, especially liquid or gas ปล่อยออก, ขับออก

under the plan, the Bhumibol dam, in Tak province, and Sirikit dam, in Uttaradit, will discharge 2.8 billion cubic metres of water this month, 3.04 billion next month, and 3.09 billion in April

dam's storage capacity

On May 1, there should be 6.04 billion cu/m in Bhumibol dam and 4.24 billion in Sirikit dam, or 45% of each dam's storage capacity, which is the same level as last year. As of yesterday, the storage levels of the Bhumibol and Sirikit dams were at 83% and 82% respectively.

drainage - the system of water or waste liquids flowing away from somewhere into the ground or down pipes การระบายน้ำ
water drainage systems

harvesting
- collecting a crop from the fields การเก็บเกี่ยว
revised plan on agricultural harvesting
revised dam management plan
floodwater management plan


minimise - to reduce something harmful or unpleasant to the smallest amount or degree ลดจำนวนลง, ลดให้เหลือน้อยที่สุด
impact - an effect or influence ผลกระทบ
minimise the impact of flooding

the revised dam management plan, repairs of water drainage systems and the revised plan on agricultural harvesting would help minimise the impact of flooding should it happen again this year.

we will have a better floodwater management plan this year

station - a place where some activity takes place (for example: power station, police station, fire station, space station, way station)
water-pumping station - a place where water can be moved from one place to another (upwards against the force of gravity by pumping)
sluice gate - a gate that controls the flow of water along a canal or waterway (See Wikipedia)

upgraded - improved

the
water-pumping station at Chulalongkorn sluice gate in Pathum Thani province has also been upgraded so it can drain off water at 100 cu/m per second, up from 36 cu/m per second

academic - someone who teaches at a college, or who studies as part of their job นักวิชาการ
Anond Snidvongs, an academic with the SCWRM, said floods may still occur this year, but they should not be as serious as last year.

exceed - to go beyond an official limit; to be greater than a number or amount เกินปริมาณ เกินกว่าที่กำหนด
ultimately
- finally, after a series of things have happened ท้ายที่สุด, ตอนสุดท้าย, ในที่สุด
meeting - when a group of people come together to discuss issues and make decisions การประชุม

"I believe this year's rains won't exceed last year's levels, but it will ultimately depend on how we manage the water," he said after a SCWRM meeting at Government House yesterday. The committee is looking to make use of about 2 million rai of land covering an area from Phitsanulok to Suphan Buri, to hold up floodwater.

inspect - to look at something carefully ตรวจสอบ
water's course - the path or route the water takes as it flows downstream
inspect the water's course

from Feb 13-17, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and SCWRM officials will inspect the water's course from Sirikit dam in Uttaradit province, through the Chao Phraya River basin, all the way to Chulalongkorn sluice gate.

approved in principle -
the idea is approved (but final approval to actually do it has not been given and details about how it will be done have not been worked out yet)
compensate - pay for a loss or damage; pay money to someone after they have been harmed or damaged by a bad event
households - families or groups of people living together (economics treats this as a unit that makes decisions)
assistance - help (given to someone)
financial assistance - help in the form of money

Meanwhile, the cabinet yesterday approved in principle an additional 1.4 billion baht requested by the SCWRM to compensate around 273,400 flood-hit households in 53 provinces that had not yet received the government's 5,000 baht in financial assistance for affected households.For Bangkok, the cabinet approved in principle 2.3 billion baht for around 467,900 households, acting spokeswoman for the Prime Minister's Office Thitima Chaisang said.

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