Plan to divert water called impractical
Pathum Thani farms seek other options
A plan to divert water from the Chao Phraya River to drought-hit farmland and parched areas in Pathum Thani, just north of Bangkok, is impractical, according to the Royal Irrigation Department (RID).
Farmers in Nong Sua district have been complaining of water shortages and had come up with a plan to draw water from the Chao Phraya River to be sent to their farms.
Their plan called for water to be channelled via Khlong Prem Nua in Bang Pa-in district in neighbouring Ayutthaya, which would then bring the water into Khlong Prem Prachakorn and Khlong Rangsit Prayurasak before reaching Nong Sua district.
RID deputy director-general Thaweesak Thanadechopol said on Sunday that Nong Sua district has been labelled a drought-disaster zone since Dec 31.
The label allows authorities and local administrative organisations to disburse emergency funds to immediately relieve effects of drought.
The RID also met various agencies and farmers whose farms are located along the six man-made canals in the district.
The recent meeting agreed that more water should be pumped from Khlong Rangsit Prayurasak into the network of man-made canals serving farmland in Nong Sua district and parts of the adjacent Thanyaburi district.
The meeting also warned that the water level in the canal along the Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok road must be maintained to prevent its banks from collapsing which would damage the road.
Mr Thaweesak said the meeting also heard the farmers' proposed water diversion plan.
However, it was decided the plan would not be practical because Khlong Prem Prachakorn branches out into many small waterways along its route.
Mr Thaweesak said the waterways are not equipped with water control stations, which is one problem.
Another issue is that much water tapped from the Chao Phraya River via the upstream Khlong Prem Nua would flow unregulated into the small waterways, leaving only a small amount to be channelled into the Khlong Rangsit Prayurasak which would eventually supply the drought-ravaged farms in Nong Sua district.