Residents and businesses specifically in the nearby areas, including Srisoonthorn, Baan Manik and Cherng Talay (see map below), are urged to use water sparingly amid concerns that rains will not replenish the reservoir sufficiently before the hot season.
Somsawat Chaisinsod, Director of Phuket Provincial Irrigation Office, explained to The Phuket News this week that the Bang Neow Dum reservoir is currently just less than 45% full.
“The reservoir has a capacity is 7.2 million cubic meters, but it currently contains only about 3.25mn cubic meters. Of that, we are able to use only 3.14mn cubic meters as 0.11mn cubic meters of that capacity is useless. It’s just mud, which we can’t use,” he said.
“We need about 5mn cubic meters – or about 70% of the reservoir’s capacity – by the end of December to cope with the demand during the dry season (December-April),” he added.
“My advice is for people and businesses in the affected areas to start storing water reserves so they can use it for their own needs in the first few months of 2019.
“If the water (in the reservoir) is not enough by December, I will need to raise this issue with all involved officials so we can come up with a plan of what to do,” Mr Somsawat said.
The high-ranking officials to be called in for action if need be included Phuket Governor Phakkaphong Tavipatana, the Director of Provincial Water Authority Phuket office, the Phuket Provincial Office of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM-Phuket), and others, Mr Somsawat explained.
“Also people must understand that this is about climate change and that we have not had enough rainfall to refill the reservoir. Of the rain that has fallen across Phuket in recent months, little of it has flown into the reservoir,” he said.
“We will do our best to make sure there is enough water for everyone until the dry season ends – about May next year. By that time we should have mains water supply to the area supplemented by Bang Wad reservoir,” Mr Somsawat added.