Tap water supply guaranteed to Bangkok until July

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Bangkok, March 4 (IANS) After weeks of warnings over impending shortages brought by a dry spell, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has assured Bangkok residents that their water supply will last until July, the media reported on Friday.

According to the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT), the country’s four main dams currently hold 2.9 billion cubic metres of water, which should sustain tap water supplies to the capital for the next five months, EFE news reported.

Drought-relief measures, including water truck delivery, well-digging and artificial rainmaking, are already underway in 42 provinces, despite a shortage in rainmaking pilots of which there has been an exodus to the commercial sector.

The statement comes one day after the ministry of agriculture and cooperatives urged hospitals in 76 drought-hit districts to conserve water, while farmers have been repeatedly instructed to refrain from growing water-intensive paddy rice and opt for drought-resistant produce including gourds, beans and cucumbers instead.

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“The government will not be held responsible for any losses incurred by farmers should they stick to rice farming,” Prayut said.

Authorities are also calling on the Thai public to refrain from throwing buckets of water during Songkran, the traditional Thai New Year, celebrated in April by throwing water on others as a blessing.

“The government will ask people to adopt the traditional method of rod nam dam hua, or sprinkling water, instead,” said government spokesman Sansern Kaekamnerd.

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