PM Prayut orders construction of more ‘monkey cheek’ water storages

Construction News


BANGKOK: — Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday ordered the construction of more ‘kaem ling’ or monkey cheeks (water storage canals) and ‘kanom krok’ (indented pans) to enable greater amounts of water to be stored in reserve to ease water shortage in the future.

In addition, he tasked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to develop a number of denuded mountains in the northern provinces as water detention reservoirs.

He cautioned that he will be making unscheduled visits to check on the progress of these plans.

His order came after he made a field trip to personally check on the water situation at Khun Darn Prakarnchon and Pasak Cholasit dams in Nakhon Nayok and Saraburi provinces.

The visit reassured the PM as the Khun Darn Prachakorn Dam has been replenished by surrounding water resources and shows signs of returning to its normal state.

As for the Pasak Cholasit dam, its supplies has been replenished by the recent rains which at present is flowing in at rate of 2 million cubic meters daily of which 1 million cubic meters are drained of daily.

Gen Prayut noted that the construction of ‘kaem ling’ projects downstream will enable even higher water detention in the area, possibly up to as much as 46 million cubic meter which could comfortably irrigate 100,000 rai (40,000 acre) of agricultural farm lands.

He stated that the country’s main water sources in the northern parts of the country are being drastically threatened as a result of widespread deforestation.

Current estimates put the number at no less than 8.6 million rai (3.44 million acres) having been deforested.

Furthermore, even though the government has reclaimed a great amount of trespassed lands, much of these lands are severely dilapidated and unable to retain water.

He then said the only way to counteract was to construct ‘kaem ling’ and ‘khanom krok’ projects to help store rain water as existing water rationing measures have proven ineffective to provide needed supplies for agriculture, domestic consumption, industry and critically, to stem salt water flows.

He then tasked the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment to discover ways to develop denuded mountains into water storage facilities.