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Thailand’s Meteorological Department Warns of Lowest Rain in Decade

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BANGKOK – Thailand’s Meteorological Department has warned that the amount of rain water this year may be the lowest in a decade and people should try to store rainwater whenever possible.

Kanrawee Sitthicheewapak, deputy director-general of the department, said after the rain season began on May 20, the amount of rainwater this year was much lower than its average level in the past decade.

Especially in the North and the Central Plains that were important farming regions.

Rain in both regions was the lowest in ten years and water shortages were likely in many areas, she said.

She attributed the weather condition to the weak southwestern monsoon.

El Nino had nothing to do with it, she said.

“People, especially farmers, should store water particularly from July 16 to 20 when rain will increase in the country because of a storm in the Philippines.”

During the period rain is expected in the upper Northeast, the East, the West, greater Bangkok and the South. Afterwards rain would decline, she said.

The “Lack of Rain” has affected water reserves Nation Wide

The Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) announced water levels in large reservoirs stood at about 38% in the North, 33% in the Northeast, 22% in the Central Plains, 35% in the East, 67% in the West, and 60% in the South.

The lack of heavy rain has seen four medium-sized reservoirs in Nakhon Ratchasima completely dry out, according to the 8th Royal Irrigation Office.

The empty reservoirs have prompted the Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) to speed up efforts to mitigate the impact of the looming drought.

“Seven large dams in the region now have less than 30% of their maximum capacity,” Samroeng Saengphuwong, the deputy ONWR secretary-general said.

Some Northern and northeastern Provinces have already resorted to drastic measures to cope with water scarcity.

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