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Drought Mitigation measures: DDPM endorses “Pra-cha-rad”, or a public-private partnership to effectively manage water resources during the drought season.

By : Admin05
Date : 30/12/2559
Count View : 3,579
In recent years, Thailand has received less rain during the rainy season, then the historical average. These seasonal rains are  the main source of water for the country.  As rainfall decreases, urban sprawl and higher consumption of water by the agriculture sector increased demand of water in the country. Asclimate change causes less precipitation this year, it also affects long term water levels by lowering river volume and underground water. Therefore, the drought problem in Thailand is becoming more frequent and more severe. This will affect the agricultural sector as well as water for consumption by households and industry.
The Royal Thai Government and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) place great emphasis on improving the quality of life for our people affected by drought and tasked the Ministry of Interior through the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) to develop measures to cope with this situation. DDPM and its provincial offices prepared for the drought season by adopting the concept of public-private partnership in water management and an irrigation plan for the dry season. These measures include:

Preparedness measures
- conduct surveysand develop a water source database: DDPM provincial offices will survey and maintain a record of existing water containment equipment in drought-risk areas. They will also update the database of high-risk areas in order to develop a plan for water irrigation at the provincial level. Moreover, there will be water distribution sites designated for household consumption throughout the province to ensure water access to all.
- Develop a drought prevention and mitigation action plan, to systematically manage the effects of the drought with specific measures such as a water saving campaign, crime prevention, promoting good health, drought- related epidemic prevention plan, and income generation activities for affected populations.
- Preparation of resources to assist the affected population, including pre-positioning personnel, equipment, water trucks, and relief materials to alleviate the suffering of drought affected population in a timely matter.
Public Awareness campaign
- Promote awareness and understanding about the drought, by providing regular drought situation updates, including a drought mitigation plan, water irrigation plan, and a drought relief plan for affected population. This is to ensure that people in drought-risk communities are aware of the problems and are included in the drought prevention and mitigation process.
- Engage communities in the drought relief efforts, by promoting water-saving methods, as well as encouraging households and communities to conserve water using water storage vessels. Farmers are encouraged to plant less water-intensive crops during the coming drought season.
- Supporting the community to set up their own rules and regulations for water rationing with support from the government and military. Certain measures are implemented in drought-risk areas such as monitoring of illegal water pumping and encouraging peaceful methods of conflict resolution (i.e. negotiation and mediation), when drought-related conflicts arise. Government and military officers are tasked to raise awareness about the drought to prevent raising tension among affected populations.

Relief measures for the drought-affected population
- The priority for water rationing is at the household level. DDPM will send water trucks to drought-affected villages. This will ensure access to water throughout the drought season.
- To ensure the effective utilization of water reserves, coordination will be strengthened between related agencies involved in producing artificial rain, when conditions allow, and those which utilize underground water sources.  These are the primary measures to be implemented during the drought season. In addition, DDPM plans to pump water from distant reservoirs to water purification plants in affected areas.
- The government will implement measures to generate income for farmers in the drought-affected areas such as vocation training and community projects.
 - Emergency relief funds to aids disaster victims will be activated according to the relevant laws and regulations, to aid people affected by drought.
To this end, DDPM, in cooperation with related agencies, will effectively implement the above measures to prevent, mitigate, and alleviate the drought during the upcoming dry season.  The focus is on effective water usage, as well as in partnering and communicating with those communities who are in the affected area. The goal is to alleviate the effects of drought and ensure sufficient water for consumption as directed by government policies.