Two major dams to release more water
The Royal Irrigation Department (RID) will on Wednesday start releasing more water from two major dams in the Central region to stop the intrusion of seawater in Bangkok and its vicinity.
The two dams are Chao Phraya in Chai Nat and the Pasak Jolasid in Lop Buri province, Thongplew Kongjun, RID director-general, said yesterday.
Mr Thongplew said the flow of water from the Chao Phraya dam will be increased from 85 cubic metres per second to 100, while the Pasak Jolasid will discharge water at 11 cubic metres per second. Water from the two dams will flow into the Chao Phraya River before flowing into the Gulf of Thailand.
He said RID will also divert water at 24 cubic metres per second from Mae Klong River to Tha Chin River via the Phraya Banlue canal and then to Chao Phraya River in Ayutthaya province. Up to 135 cubic metres of water per second will be discharged to solve seawater intrusion this week.
Mr Thongplew was speaking during a visit yesterday at a raw-water pumping station in tambon Sam Rae of Pathum Thani's Muang district. He was at the station to check out preparations being made to deal with rising sea tides, which are expected to be about 20 centimetres higher than in the drought year of 2015.
He said more water is being discharged today because RID has learned that the level of the Gulf is expected to rise even more quickly from today to Jan 14 and then again on Jan 26 and 27.
"But don't worry. We have come up with plans to deal with any impacts that may occur. We have enough raw water to provide tap water for 10 million people in the capital and its vicinity. We also have a system of removing salt water at our Klong Lad Pho water pumping station in Samut Prakan province," he said.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) announced yesterday that taps will not run dry during the dry season, saying it has around 300 million cubic metres of water in reserve.
MWA governor Prinya Yamasamit said the water reserve at the pumping station in Sam Rae still stands at 75% and can feed Bangkok's water processing plants.
"There will be no problem in producing quality tap water," he said, adding the MWA was also looking into the possibility of shifting its water-pumping station to Ang Thong province, which is not close to the sea. He also said the diversion of water from the western region is the best option for the moment and that the agency will make more investments if necessary.