Chao Phraya Dam water in crisis

Chao Phraya Dam water in crisis

The water level in the Chao Phraya River dam reached crisis point on Sunday. (Photo by Chudate Seehawong)
The water level in the Chao Phraya River dam reached crisis point on Sunday. (Photo by Chudate Seehawong)

CHAI NAT - Water in the Chao Phraya Dam reached its lowest point in three decades on Sunday as farmers continued to divert supplies for farming.

Dam director Ekkasit Sakthanaporn said the water level was recorded at 14 metres above sea level at 3.30pm, a drop from 14.40 metres on Saturday.

Sunday's level was the lowest in three decades at the dam in Sapphaya district in the province, he said.

The dam continued the discharge rate of 75 cubic metres per second to push back salty water at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River despite increasing pressure from water supplies upstream.

The government has called on farmers in the central plains to scrap rice farming this season amid drought worries which could damage their crops.

But Mr Ekkasit said water pumps were running in more than 90 locations north of the dam as farmers channelled water to their farmlands.

He pleaded with the farmers to turn off the pumps to save water as there was only enough for irrigation for another month if the level continued to drop at the current rate.

The Chao Phraya Dam has seen its water level drop sharply over the past week. The water level in the dam was 14.89 metres above sea level on June 1.

More than 9,000 villages in 23 provinces are declared disaster areas due to drought, according to the latest update by the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department. It accounts for 12.5% of the 75,000 villages in the country.

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