Phuket Gazette

PHUKET CITY: An unusually wet December has kept Bang Wad reservoir in Kathu filled to capacity, while forecasts for continuing rainfall through March mean there is little reason to worry about water shortages in 2008, the head of the provincial waterworks authority said yesterday.

Reporting to Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit at the monthly Phuket Provincial Security Council meeting at the Katina Hotel, Phuket Provincial Water Supply Manager Sayan Wareearoonroj said current reserves are sufficient to last until May, the month that usually marks the end of the dry season.

The island’s only reservoir, the 7.3-million-cubic-meter basin at Bang Wad is currently at 99.9% capacity, he said.

The Thai Meteorological Department has predicted appreciable rainfall for the next four months, with 30mm expected in January, traditionally Phuket’s driest month, he said.

Predicted rainfall amounts for February, March and April are 39mm, 111mm and 127mm respectively, he said.

Despite copious amounts of rain falling on Phuket in the wet season, lack of reservoirs has resulted in water shortages during past years.

A second reservoir with 7.2-million-cubic-meter capacity at Bang Neaw Dum in Thalang is expected to be complete by September, 2008, at the earliest, while authorities are in the final stages of land acquisition to build a 5.7-million-cubic-meter reservoir at Klong Krata in Chalong.

Phuket has two main water supply systems. The PPWS covers much of the southern half of the island except for Phuket City, which has its own waterworks.

Both systems use the Bang Wad Reservoir as their principal supply and pump additional supplies from tin mines as the need arises.

With the opening of the Bang Neaw Dum reservoir, the PPWS will expand its coverage into Thalang, where most residents currently rely on tin mines or groundwater supplies.

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