Storms help to replenish empty dams
Tropical storm downpours have filled up water in empty dams across the country, the head of the nation's water resources department said on Friday.
Somkiat Prajamwong, secretary-general of the Office of National Water Resources and deputy director of the National Water Command, said heavy rain in recent days has added 583 million cubic metres (m³) of water to dams across the country.
He said the rainfall from March 1 to April 14 has added 241 million m³ to dams in the South, 132 million m³ to those in the North, 98 million m³ in the West and 82 million m³ in the Northeast. As a result, Bhumibol Dam, Sirikit Dam and Ubol Ratana Dam are now at 34%, 40% and 15% of their capacities while it is likely that more rainfall will fill the dams until June 30.
Meanwhile, he said, the increased water flow caused by the rains has led to an intrusion of seawater at pumping stations in Pathum Thani which may result in drinking water tasting salty for the time being. Water is currently being released from Rama VI Dam in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya to alleviate the problem, he said.
Despite the summer storms, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation on Friday reported that 24 provinces are still suffering drought.
The provinces are Chiang Rai, Phayao, Nan, Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Phetchabun, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Kalasin, Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Chaiyaphum, Si Sa Ket, Chai Nat, Kanchanaburi, Suphan Buri, Chachoengsao, Prachin Buri and Songkhla.