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

In a bid to counteract the results of a possible drought, the central government of Thailand is contemplating the suspension of rice cultivation within the Central Plains region. 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 in regards to the forecasted lower in this year’s nationwide rainfall. Surasri Kidtimonton, the secretary-general of the ONWR, expressed fear that the rainfall for the year has fallen below common, sparking prospects of a more arid wet season.
He further talked about that the Central Plains, which is considered the country’s major rice-farming space, could be the most affected. With predictions indicating a whopping 40% decline in accrued precipitation this wet season, the area may be hard-hit with large-scale water shortages.
Current water ranges within the country’s 4 principal dams – Bhumibol in Tak, Sirikit in Uttaradit, Kwae Noi Bamrung Dan in Phitsanulok and Pasak Jolasid in Lop Buri – have plummeted, holding solely 9,617 million cubic metres of water, which serves as 39% of their whole storage capacity. Worryingly, solely 2,921 million cubic metres of the obtainable is deemed useable in the intervening time, signifying appreciable water shortages within the region. Surasri said…
“What’s worrying is the El Nino phenomenon might extend proper through to 2025. We have to plan nationwide water management prudently.”
The Central Plains region, because of its in depth involvement in rice farming, utilises a major quantity of water. Against this backdrop, rice cultivation has been carried out on more than 11 million rai. In mild of the looming water shortages, farmers who’re but to start planting are being suggested to both postpone their plans or change to drought-resistant plant choices.
Simultaneously, a committee devoted to overseeing water allocation in the region’s river basins is within the strategy of quantifying the water’s availability. The committee is prioritising water utilization, with the priority being household consumption, adopted by water diversion to hold up natural ecosystems to mitigate the degrees of water shortages.
Given the growing threat of water shortages, the committee is exploring the feasibility of suspending rice farming. It has been highlighted that the measures in place presently are inadequate to sort out the challenge at hand, reported Bangkok Post.
The subsequent step might involve a directive from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his role as the Chairman of the National Water Resources Committee, for the creation of a water-crisis command centre.
Professional defined that should it turn into necessary, the ONWR would call upon the committee to order an extended suspension of rice farming in regions severely affected by the water shortages. Following this, they might search the cabinet’s approval to allow emergency response organisations such as the Interior Ministry and the military to assist in areas struck by floods.
Offering a ultimate piece of advice, the secretary-general said…

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