Water in Chao Phraya Dam below operating level

A sand island shows above the water immediately downstream from the Chao Phraya River on Monday morning. (Photo by Chudate Seehawong)

CHAI NAT -- Water in the Chao Phraya Dam reservoir is below the standard operating level, a water shortage is imminent and all farmers are being asked not to plant third-crop rice, provincial governor Nimit Wanchaithanawong said.

Mr Nimit was speaking after an inspection of the Chao Phraya Dam on Monday morning.

He said the water level behind the Chao Phraya Dam is currently 14.84 metres above mean sea level (MSL), below the 15m standard operating level. 

The water below the dam is only 5.65m above the MSL. Sand dunes have already emerged along the Chao Phraya River, which runs through many Central provinces.

The dam is releasing 70 cubic metres of water per second to maintain the ecological system and hold back sea water pushing upstream.

The governor said he had instructed all heads of government offices to tell farmers this situation is serious. It is necessary that they refrain from planting a third rice crop. This was in line with Agriculture Minister Chatchai Sarikulaya's policy for effective water management.

Governors would be punished if third-crop rice farming was allowed in their province, he said.

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