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Cabinet Asked to Approve Bt3 Billion to Combat Water Shortages

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The cabinet of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will on Tuesday be asked to approve a Bt3 billion to combat water shortages in Thailand. Above all vulnerable areas which may worsen in the coming months, the National Water Resources (ONWR) reports.

ONWR secretary-general Somkiat Prajamwong said the funding, could be allocated from the central budget. Furthermore the money would implement 2,041 projects as a short-term relief measures. Especially the given expectations the the drought could worsen in May-June, Somkiat said.

The projects, include digging Artesian wells, will be implemented by four agencies; The Armed Forces Development Command; the Royal Thai Army; the Department of Ground Water Resources and local administrative bodies.

In addition, Mr Somkiat said the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority; Regional Waterworks Authority; and local bodies are expected to divert funds worth 2.95 billion baht to alleviate water shortages.

When the 2020 fiscal budget bill is passed, state agencies are advised to disburse funds worth 9.4 billion baht to implement 1,434 water projects in 54 provinces as soon as possible, he told the Bangkok Post.

These schemes will store up to 135 million cubic meters of additional water and should be completed before the rainy season, he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the northern and northeastern regions are the most likely to be affected by seasonal drought.

He said authorities plan to dig more than 500 artesian wells this year. While insisting measures are in place to ensure adequate water supplies until July.

On Monday Prime Minister Prayut urged residents to build small ponds if possible to retain water for consumption. He also said the water management command centre to be approved by cabinet this week. The command center will coordinate agencies working on the water shortage crisis.

Source: Bangkok Post

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