Dry season pushes dept to halt 2nd rice crop

Dry season pushes dept to halt 2nd rice crop

The Royal Irrigation Department (RID) has pledged to follow through with its water-allocation plan as another month of the dry season lies ahead.

RID deputy director-general Thaweesak Thanadechopol said the department will strictly adhere to the water-management plan to ensure there is adequate supply until the rainy season comes.

Under the plan for the dry season (November 2019-April 2020), 17,699 million cubic metres of water have been allocated for use -- 5,000 million cubic metres lower than the previous dry season.

As of yesterday, 14,488 million cubic metres of water had been used, accounting for 82% of the plan. Based on the current situation, water use is expected to be on track with the plan.

Mr Thaweesak said the second rice crop season in the Chao Phraya River Basin is not allowed during the current dry season due to water shortage concerns.

An inspection showed the second cropping season covered 1.98 million rai, out of which 1.58 million rai was harvested. Most of the farmland relied on water resources in their communities.

Overall, the scope of the second rice crop season has exceeded the planned allocation by 82%, he said.

Under the plan, the cropping season was limited to 2.31 million rai, but would in actuality exceed 4.2 million rai.

The RID deputy chief also called on every stakeholder to comply with the water management plan to ensure the country survives the dry season.

Meanwhile, the amount of water in large- and medium-sized reservoirs across the country stands at 37,937 million cubic metres of water, or 50% of their total holding capacity.

Of the total, only 27%, or 14,231 million cubic metres can be drawn for consumption.

The rest is known as dead water, which must be kept to preserve the condition of the dam.

Four major reservoirs -- Tak's Bhumibol dam, Uttaradit's Sirikit dam, Phitsanulok's Kwai Noi Bamrung Dan dam and Lop Buri's Pasak Jolasid dam -- have a combined 9,218 million cubic metres of water.

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