Severe drought has left more than 250,000 homes in provinces surrounding Bangkok without water. People in Pathum Thani, Lop Buri and Saraburi have lost water supplies.
Raphipat Canal, which normally supplies water for tap-water production in Pathum Thani’s Thanyaburi district, is one of the water sources that has run dry.
The Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA)’s Rangsit Office in Pathum Thani has announced that due to the water shortage, the PWA office in Thanyaburi can no longer produce tap-water.
The PWA has been trying to assist residents in Thanyaburi by re-directing some water from the PWA’s Rangsit office, but with only a limited water supply to share, both Thanayaburi and Rangsit residents have very little water coming from their taps. At peak usage times during the day water does not come at all for many.
Over 50,000 homes have no running water in affected areas. One of the worst affected areas is Lop Buri, where around 100,000 residents have disrupted tap water supplies.
The Chief of The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Mr. Chatchai Promlert, has been talking with the Royal Irrigation Department and is working towards finding ways to increase the water supply from the Chao Phraya River to the Chai Nat – Pasak Canal, the main water source for Lop Buri tap water. Currently peak demand is almost reaching 200% of supply, hence the severe shortage.
Rice farmers in the Chai Nat Province have been requested to stop pumping water into their paddy fields. This could lead to crop failure if it doesn’t rain soon.
Fire trucks have been distributing water to affected households. These are the most severe drought conditions seen in these provinces in decades.
There have also been road collapses due to ground water drying up too. The canal side road next to the dry Klong Raphipat is one example. It almost looks like there has been an earthquake.
The Provincial water authorities have been advising people to store water in containers when the taps are running, so they have supplies when they are not.
Residents in Bangkok are seriously concerned that their capital city will be hit by water shortages also. The Governor of the Metropolitan Waterworks, Mr. Thanasak Watanathana, previously stated that tap water supplies in Bangkok could run out within 30 days if there is no rain by August.