OFFICIALS have lowered the amount of water being discharged from Chao Phraya Dam after upstream flooding decreased despite predictions of more rain across the country this week.
Royal Irrigation Department (RID) deputy director-general Thongplew Kongjun said yesterday that due to a drop in upstream flooding in Nakhon Sawan province, the department cut the water discharge from the Chao Phraya Dam in Chainat province.
The move was done to mitigate the flood situation in downstream areas and divert water into water-retention areas on both sides of the river.
“We have decreased the water discharge to 1,751 cubic metres per second from the maximum outflow of 1,998 cubic metres per second on Friday and Saturday and the lower water discharge has relieved the flood situation in low-lying areas downstream,” Thongplew said.
Water levels in the Bang Ban and Bang Luang Canals were reported to have dropped by 15 centimetres, while the Chao Phraya River was down by 20 centimetres in Ayutthaya.
Thongplew said the department would keep draining water to the sea and monitoring the level of rainfall closely because the Meteorological Department warned that there would be heavy rain throughout the first half of October.
The Meteorological Department forecast that a monsoon trough would sit on the Central, the East and lower Northeast and combine with moderate high pressure systems from China, causing more rain with isolated heavy showers for these areas this week.
RID water management and hydrology director Lertchai Srianant said the continued rainfall would not affect Bangkok, as the intensity of the rain was expected to decrease.
Lertchai said the reduced outflow from the Chao Phraya Dam would also spur better drainage in Bangkok.
In regard to major dams, he said water levels in Bhumibol, Sirikit and Kwae Noi Bamrung Daen dams were at a safe limit and still manageable, while the Pasak Jolasid Dam was 86 per cent full and under careful |management.
Floodwater in Ayutthaya’s Pak Hai and Bang Ban districts had not risen, which was especially good news for people in low-lying areas along the Noi River, according to local reports.
Udomsak Khaonuna, head of the Ayutthaya Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office, said floodwater in the province would drop slowly if there was no more rain, because of the reduced discharge from the Chao Phraya Dam.
Udomsak also said some farmers had already harvested their crops, so officials would “store” water in harvested areas and authorities would compensate affected farmers, according to a Cabinet decision.
Dr Winchana Srivilaithon from Thammasat University Hospital, also warned that parents should keep a close eye on their children to prevent drownings in this wet season. “Adults should also be cautious as well because the water currents during this time of year are strong,” Winchana said.