NWRC seeks nod for three water projects

NWRC seeks nod for three water projects

Proposals concern tap water, drainage

The Phetchaburi river overflows in Phetchaburi province last year. A project to enhance the drainage capacity of canals in the lower part of the Phetchaburi basin was endorsed on Thursday. (File photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)
The Phetchaburi river overflows in Phetchaburi province last year. A project to enhance the drainage capacity of canals in the lower part of the Phetchaburi basin was endorsed on Thursday. (File photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)

The National Water Resource Committee (NWRC) on Thursday approved three new major water management projects with a combined value of more than 18 billion baht and is now seeking cabinet approval on them, said Somkiat Prajumwong, secretary-general of the NWRC.

The first project is described as a "construction for development" project, which consists of six sub-projects proposed by Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA). The project requires about 11 billion baht in funding.

"When the construction project is complete, PWA's tap water producing capacity will increase by 332.4 billion cubic metres (cu/m) per day," Mr Somkiat said after Thursday's NWRC meeting.

The second project is the construction of a drainage tunnel to connect Khlong Phasi Charoen with Khlong Sanam Chai at a cost of 6.13 billion baht.

"The new drainage tunnel, named Khlong Phraya Ratchamontri, is designed to help enhance water drainage in Bangkok's Thon Buri district," he said.

The construction of the tunnel, which is planned to start in 2021, will take five years to finish, said Mr Somkiat.

The third project, he continued, is aimed at improving the drainage capacity of canals in the lower part of the Phetchaburi basin, which will improve the speed of water draining into the Gulf of Thailand.

"This project, too, is planned to begin in 2021 and is expected to finish five years after that," he said.

Aside from these three large projects, the NWRC also began studying a total of 57,975 operation plans drafted under the government's masterplan for water resources management, which it aims to implement in the 2020 fiscal year, which begins on Oct 1.

Mr Somkiat said the water management projects were proposed by 28 organisations which are implementing the water resources management masterplan. He also said the projects are estimated to require 310 billion baht in funding.

Progress in the implementation of 144 water management projects and the construction of 30,000 weirs nationwide, which began in the 2019 fiscal year 2019, was also presented at Thursday's meeting.

Separately, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the NWRC also resolved to set up two new centres for national water management, namely an ad hoc water management command to handle water crises and a water management war room.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will head the ad hoc water management command, while war room will be headed his deputy, said Gen Prawit.


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