LAM PA CHI RIVER BASIN (THAILAND)
Water Users/ Stakeholders
Surface and groundwater in the basin have three main uses:
- Drinking water
- Tourism / Industry
Irrigation infrastructure is under the responsibility of the Royal Irrigation Department (RID). For this purpose, 5 small dams and several weirs were constructed in the basin to store water, especially during the dry season. Water is pumped into channels to irrigate the individual crop fields. Detailed data about these water abstractions is not available. Only some rough values were obtained during a field visit to one of the pumping stations.
There is no law or regulation for groundwater abstractions. In the floodplains many wells have been constructed to extract groundwater and irrigate during the dry season. No reliable data about these abstractions is available.
The RID is also in charge of conducting hydrological and meteorological monitoring in the basin. A network of 4 discharge and 3 precipitation stations with monthly values was available. In the last decade, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) was founded. They also are in charge of monitoring water resources in the basin. In some cases, both departments compete and run parallel monitoring activities.
Drinking water treatment and distribution is the responsibility of the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA). The PWA manages a dam to store water and divert it to a treatment plant. After the proper physical and chemical treatments water is distributed through pipelines into the main urban settlements. In the case of rural areas, water is pumped directly from streams or from the ground.
According to interviews conducted during our field visit to the basin, the tourism industry is growing rapidly in the region and is expected to continue growing in the future. Several hotel complexes are being currently developed in the floodplains impacting the morphology of the river but also increasing water consumption.
References and further reading:
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