KANCHANABURI: The water level in the reservoir at Vajiralongkorn dam in Sangkhlaburi district remains very low, at only 42.53% of its capacity, raising fears that 2021 will be another year of water shortages, dam director Waiwit Saengpanich said on Wednesday.
Mr Waiwit said the average volume of water flowing into the dam from January-July each year was 2,500 million cubic metres. But this year’s inflow during the same period was only 600 million cubic metres.
While the yearly average inflow was 5,500 million cubic metres, this year it was expected to be about 3,800 million cubic metres, or 1,700 million cubic metres below average.
On Wednesday morning, the dam held 3,768.17 million cubic metres, 42.53% of its design capacity of 8,860 million cubic metres.
Mr Waiwit said the low level of water was worrying. With the existing volume, the dam’s electricity generating capacity would not be affected much. However, there would not be sufficient water for general consumption, agriculture and maintenance of the eco-system, which required about 5,000 million cubic metres of water.
So, they were still hoping for plenty of rain in August-September, usually the period with the most rain each year. If rainfall came up short, the committee overseeing daily discharge of water would have to review the water management plan to ensure there is sufficient water for use next year, he said.
Mr Waiwit said economical use of water is necessary in household, industrial and agricultural sectors.
After about three months with little rain, many of the floating house rafts used by tourists and local residents are now resting on ground covered by green grass.
The water level under Uttamanusorn bridge, or Sapan Mon, a major tourist attraction at the dam, is unusually low, making boat trips to view a submerged temple listed on Unseen Thailand difficult.