Farmers worry about drought in the north

national March 14, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

In the face of drought, concerns are growing that farmers in Chiang Mai will start fighting over water.

“Farmers usually compete for water during the dry season,” Prasert Wongruang, a farmer in Doi Lo district, said yesterday, explaining that their crops were threatened by the lack of water. 
Doi Lo district has more than 10,000 rai (1,600 hectares) of farmland, with most producing longan and mango. 
Village chief Pornchai Tawanwong said the level of water in the Ping River had been dropping since last month, which was adversely affecting longan and mango orchards. 
“We are afraid that the drought this year will be worse, so we are encouraging local people to help with the construction of check dams. We can then use pumps to push the water into a reservoir,” he said. 
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department yesterday disclosed that drought had hit 6,391 villages in 25 provinces since last October. However, it said, large dams had as much as 19,670 million cubic metres of usable water in their reservoirs. “This is 42 per cent higher than the same period last year,” the department’s director-general Chatchai Phromlert said. 

Most view