Farmers in Nong Ruea district, are grappling with the consequences of the prolonged dry spell. Water levels in their fields are dwindling rapidly, causing rice plants to suffer from water scarcity and begin to wither and die. If there is no significant rainfall within the next week, it is anticipated that the entire crop yield will be severely affected.
The district chief of Nong Ruea has stated that this year’s drought situation is expected to be particularly severe due to the El Niño phenomenon. Rice fields in many areas have started experiencing water shortages, and the local streams and tributaries have also dried up due to the lack of rainfall. Furthermore, farmers have resorted to pumping water to nourish their rice fields.
Currently, local authorities have initiated the construction of soil cement weirs along major canals in the areas with the aim of storing rainwater reserves for use this year and as a future resource.
In response to the crisis, the governor of Khon Kaen has called for a meeting of local government heads to closely monitor the drought situation. Currently, the Ubonrat Dam has only stored about 36% of its total capacity, with approximately 870 million cubic meters of water. This is significantly lower than the previous year, and according to the meteorological department, there are expected to be only 18 days of rainfall throughout September.
The El Niño phenomenon is anticipated to persist until mid-2024. If there is no replenishment of water in the dam and reservoirs, it will have severe consequences for the general public. All districts have been instructed to expedite the construction of soil –cement weirs to mitigate the drought crisis. (TNA)