Farmers asked to delay planting as Mae Kuang Dam drops to 17%

One of Chiang Mai’s most important dams is running out of water with Mae Kuang Dam dropping to only 17% of capacity.

District representatives met in Doi Saket yesterday to discuss what is turning into an emergency as a drought, considered to be the worst in at least a decade continues in the north.

The meeting heard that inflows to the dam are currently 44% of their average annual rate with water quickly declining in the dam. The dam primarily supplies water for agriculture to 120,000 rai of land in surrounding areas – Doi Saket, Sam Kamphaeng, San Sai, Ban Thi (Lamphun) and Mueang Lamphun.

As a consequence of the declining level of water in the dam, rice farmers who have not yet planted their mid-year crops are being asked to delay planting them until such time that the water situation improves through rain.

Plans are also underway to be ready to supply water to areas that do rely on the dam directly for drinking water.

The current level of the Mae Ngat Somboon Chon Dam, Chiang Mai’s largest dam, was not discussed at the meeting but Thai language media noted that it is also nearing a crisis level.