People will be able to monitor the upcoming waterdrainage tests in Bangkok via a live feed broadcast on websites www.thaiwater.net and www.bangkokgis.com/bkkfloodwatch. The tests will run from tomorrow till Friday.
“We will have an unmanned aerial vehicle monitoring the water flow during the test and it will help with the live broadcast,” Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute director Dr Royol Chitradon said yesterday in his capacity as a member of a subcommittee under the Water and Flood Management Committee (WFMC).
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday instructed officials to install more CCTV cameras and waterlevel metres to provide firsthand information about the waterdrainage system. Her instructions came after a recent survey found most Bangkokians were worried about the decision to release huge amounts of water into the capital’s canals to test the city’s drainage abilities.
Yingluck said she had also assigned a subcommittee on water drainage to provide details about each chosen route for the tests.
Royol said the tests would be conducted in collaboration with WFMC, the BMA (Bangkok Metropolitan Administration), the Royal Irrigation Department and Royal Thai Navy.
Royol said relevant officials would tomorrow push water into Bangkok’s Thawee Wattana Canal, requiring it to accommodate a flow of 7 cubic metres per second from 2pm. An hour later, 14 pumps would be turned on to push excess water into the sea.
“The first portion of the Thawee Wattana Canal can accommodate up to 45 cubic metres of water per second, though towards its final portion, it can only accommodate 10 cubic metres of water. This is around Phetkasem Soi 69.” He added that the test on Friday would focus on the Lat Phrao Canal’s ability to facilitate the water flow into a giant waterdrainage tunnel.
“Last year, there were problems related to this, so we should check it,” Royol said, adding that all devices used in the system would be tested.
He assured people that the tests would not cause any flooding.
“If there is more than 30 mm of rainfall on the day, the tests will be immediately cancelled,” he said. “In the event of emergency, we are ready to close crucial watergates to prevent additional water from coming into the capital within five minutes”.
Yingluck said she understood that people might be worried, given such tests had never been conducted. “But the government has exercised caution”, adding that there was no political agenda behind the tests.
Royol said the tests would allow relevant authorities to determine how much water Bangkok can take without being flooded. He said officials should complete the evaluation within a month.