Water shortages: Thai govt mulls halting Central Plains rice farming amid anticipated drought

In a bid to counteract the results of a potential drought, the central authorities of Thailand is contemplating the suspension of rice cultivation within the Central Plains area. This proposal comes alongside the potential institution of a command centre to combat reduced rainfall and water shortages.
The Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR) initiated this dialog, citing apprehensions about the forecasted decrease in this year’s nationwide rainfall. Surasri Kidtimonton, the secretary-general of the ONWR, expressed worry that the rainfall for the year has fallen below average, sparking prospects of a extra arid rainy season.
He additional mentioned that the Central Plains, which is considered the country’s main rice-farming area, will be the most affected. With predictions indicating a whopping 40% decline in amassed precipitation this rainy season, the region could also be hard-hit with large-scale water shortages.
Current water ranges within the country’s four principal dams – Bhumibol in Tak, Sirikit in Uttaradit, Kwae Noi Bamrung Dan in Phitsanulok and Pasak Jolasid in Lop Buri – have plummeted, holding only 9,617 million cubic metres of water, which serves as 39% of their total storage capacity. Worryingly, only 2,921 million cubic metres of the out there is deemed useable in the intervening time, signifying appreciable water shortages in the area. Surasri said…
“What’s worrying is the El Nino phenomenon might prolong proper by way of to 2025. We have to plan nationwide water administration prudently.”
The Central Plains area, due to its in depth involvement in rice farming, utilises a significant amount of water. Against this backdrop, rice cultivation has been carried out on greater than eleven million rai. In mild of the looming water shortages, farmers who are yet to start planting are being advised to either postpone their plans or switch to drought-resistant plant choices.
Simultaneously, a committee dedicated to overseeing water allocation in the region’s river basins is within the strategy of quantifying the water’s availability. Tested is prioritising water utilization, with the precedence being family consumption, adopted by water diversion to hold up natural ecosystems to mitigate the degrees of water shortages.
Given the growing menace of water shortages, the committee is exploring the feasibility of suspending rice farming. It has been highlighted that the measures in place presently are insufficient to deal with the problem at hand, reported Bangkok Post.
The subsequent step could involve a directive from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his position because the Chairman of the National Water Resources Committee, for the creation of a water-crisis command centre.
Surasri defined that should it turn into necessary, the ONWR would name upon the committee to order an prolonged suspension of rice farming in areas severely affected by the water shortages. Following this, they might seek the cabinet’s approval to allow emergency response organisations such as the Interior Ministry and the military to help in areas struck by floods.
Offering a ultimate piece of recommendation, the secretary-general said…

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