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Water management tools no longer effective: Thai forum


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Water management tools no longer effective: forum

By PRATCH RUJIVANAROM 
THE NATION 

 

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UNPREDICTABLE and extreme rainfall patterns caused by climate change make the management of water in reservoirs very challenging.

 

At a seminar on water management, held yesterday at the Engineering Institute of Thailand, experts admitted that it was getting tough to manage water following traditional methods. They put this down to the changing pattern of rain and lack of accurate precipitation data. 

 

Sompop Sucharit, senior irrigation engineer and consultant for Engineering Institute Committee, said changing weather patterns had made it more difficult to manage dams, meet the demand for water and prevent water-related disasters. 

 

“A reservoir’s main aim is to store enough water for people’s consumption. But water is required all year and reservoirs only get refilled during the rainy season. Due to this, agencies have been using the Reservoir Operation Rule Curves as a management tool. This had been an effective planning tool until recently,” Sompop said. 

 

According to the Royal Irrigation Department (RID), the Reservoir Operation Rule Curves method considers a dam’s storage capacity, the meteorological and hydrological data of the water basin along with consumption rates in the basin to calculate the Upper Rule Curve (URC) and Lower Rule Curve (LRC). The URC suggests the highest storage level, while the LRC suggests the lowest. These curves change every month depending on the supply of water.

 

Once a reservoir’s URC and LRC are calculated, the official in charge will have to ensure that the water level is maintained between the two curves. 

 

Sompop, however, said this method was based on 30-year-old hydrological data, but with more extreme weather recently, this tool is no longer efficient. 

 

The latest example of this was the Pasak Jolasid Dam. Heavy rain has been filling the dam with 50 million cubic metres of water daily, while its drainage capacity is only 23 million cubic metres per day. Hence, the water level of this small dam, which has a maximum capacity of 756 million cubic metres, is rapidly rising beyond the URC level, forcing water to be drained at full capacity. 

 

Another factor that results in ineffective water management, Sompop said, is the lack of accurate precipitation data and weather forecasts, which stops officials from planning ahead and preparing for upcoming crises. 

 

Heavy downpours this year have overwhelmed water-management operations at many dams, as the reservoirs filled to brimming levels quickly, forcing excess water to be discharged through spillways, which resulted in downstream areas being flooded. As of yesterday, six dams had high water levels, while the Nam Oun Dam in Sakhon Nakhon and Kaeng Krachan Dam in Phetchaburi were 110 per cent and 106 per cent full respectively. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30353187

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-08-29
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Start building dykes along the rivers and if necessary higher boulevards in the cities  complete with winter- and summer-beds ( The more water the wider the river-beds).

Indeed ask the Netherlands for advice, they do it for centuries and they get rain- and melt water from the mountains from in the rivers from a few other countries.

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8 minutes ago, Esso49 said:

And there are a lot of "tools"  in the Governments' water agencies, and as all can see,  of little use for anything. 

Is the wording on your post correct?

Did you mean to write tools or fools?

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Perhaps if they changed from using the weather forecast given by the oxen at the Ploughing Ceremony and started learning how to use a computer generated firecast it might help.

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20 minutes ago, colinneil said:
30 minutes ago, Esso49 said:

And there are a lot of "tools"  in the Governments' water agencies, and as all can see,  of little use for anything. 

Is the wording on your post correct?

Did you mean to write tools or fools?

I think that's "tools" in the derogatory sense Colin, hence the use of inverted commas.

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Tool

Or are you winding us all up?

 

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

"..........extreme rainfall patterns caused by climate change ......"

With PM Prayut as Chairman of the Natural Water Resources Committee and that Department now under his direct control someone or something had to take the blame for the flooding.

In situations like these "climate change" is always a handy scapegoat because it has no voice to defend itself or speak against questionable actions of those in charge of the dams. 

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34 minutes ago, Cadbury said:

With PM Prayut as Chairman of the Natural Water Resources Committee and that Department now under his direct control someone or something had to take the blame for the flooding.

In situations like these "climate change" is always a handy scapegoat because it has no voice to defend itself or speak against questionable actions of those in charge of the dams. 

Absolutely, climate change is the most convenient whipping boy ever. There has always been heavy rain years and drought years. Thailand has always had floods. The reality is that they promote people to important posts that have no understanding of the science or methodology. Water responds poorly to political will and ambitions.

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

Water management tools no longer effective: forum

me thinks it's not so much the tools' efficiency that's questionable, but their wielders'

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4 hours ago, FritsSikkink said:

Invite some Dutch companies who have handled these issues for a long time. Half of the Netherlands is below sea level and they are doing fine.

Whilst I bow to none in acknowledging the ingenuity and skill of the Dutch in keeping the sea at bay, I'm not so sure that they know that much about coping with the monsoon run off from jungle covered mountains.

 

Mind you, the present bunch...

?

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56 minutes ago, canuckamuck said:

Absolutely, climate change is the most convenient whipping boy ever. There has always been heavy rain years and drought years. Thailand has always had floods. The reality is that they promote people to important posts that have no understanding of the science or methodology. Water responds poorly to political will and ambitions.

That plus the fact that they should choose between combatting flooding and giving water to farmers doing both brings extra risk.


Because if they did not have to keep too much water they would have a larger safety margin. Now because they also need to keep a certain amount of water the task is much harder. Someone is always going to complain, be it the people getting flooded or the farmers who need water later on. The 2 goals are opposites and by going after both there is far more risk.

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5 hours ago, webfact said:

Water management tools no longer effective

If one considers the BRAIN to be a water management tool, it was never effective.

A recent case in point:

5 hours ago, webfact said:

Once a reservoir’s URC and LRC are calculated, the official in charge will have to ensure that the water level is maintained between the two curves.

The URC must be less than 100%, otherwise any preventative or mitigating action is too late and endangers the retention structure.

But in the recently the Khiri Tharn Reservoir in Chantaburi reached 100% of its capacity to which officials decided to look into how it's water can be appropriately discharged. 

There's nothing wrong with the tools. It's the human so-called resources that are at best outdated or at worst unqualified.

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Another factor that results in ineffective water management, Sompop said, is the lack of accurate precipitation data and weather forecasts, which stops officials from planning ahead and preparing for upcoming crises. 

 

So get some new tools, get some new information or get some new officials who can change their collective ideas about how to manage!!

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2 hours ago, JAG said:

Whilst I bow to none in acknowledging the ingenuity and skill of the Dutch in keeping the sea at bay, I'm not so sure that they know that much about coping with the monsoon run off from jungle covered mountains.

 

Mind you, the present bunch...

?

We are getting run offs from snow melting in neighboring countries which floods our rivers.

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59 minutes ago, FritsSikkink said:

We are getting run offs from snow melting in neighboring countries which floods our rivers.

Fair point - I hadn't considered that...

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3 hours ago, JAG said:

Whilst I bow to none in acknowledging the ingenuity and skill of the Dutch in keeping the sea at bay, I'm not so sure that they know that much about coping with the monsoon run off from jungle covered mountains.

 

Mind you, the present bunch...

?

When you were a soldier did you only train in rain .. or did you have desert training too even though there are no deserts in the UK ? I think I know the answer but I could be wrong.

 

The Dutch engineers are not only trained for Dutch water management but for jobs abroad too. Its an international problem and while it varies from place to place the basic ideas stay the same.

 

Though I doubt the Dutch engineers can do much here as you need cooperation from the locals and last time they were here their ideas were trashed. 

 

Also as i mentioned before here you got the problem that dams are used for 2 different conflicting purposes. 

1)  keeping flooding in check something that requires dams to release water when they can and keep reservoirs as empty as possible without creating floods.

2) keeping dams as full as possible to have lots of water for farming.

 

By doing both it goes wrong its like building a sports car that can carry lots of goods too, it just wont work. You either accept there will be flooding and have enough water for farmers or you accept that flooding is the major problem and accept that sometimes you will have not enough water for the farmers. By trying to find the middle way it often goes wrong. This is of course my opinion but it is logical and I don't claim to know more about water management as others because I am Dutch. This is not what i studied for but I can use reason and logic. 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, robblok said:

When you were a soldier did you only train in rain .. or did you have desert training too even though there are no deserts in the UK ? I think I know the answer but I could be wrong.

 

The Dutch engineers are not only trained for Dutch water management but for jobs abroad too. Its an international problem and while it varies from place to place the basic ideas stay the same.

 

Though I doubt the Dutch engineers can do much here as you need cooperation from the locals and last time they were here their ideas were trashed. 

 

Also as i mentioned before here you got the problem that dams are used for 2 different conflicting purposes. 

1)  keeping flooding in check something that requires dams to release water when they can and keep reservoirs as empty as possible without creating floods.

2) keeping dams as full as possible to have lots of water for farming.

 

By doing both it goes wrong its like building a sports car that can carry lots of goods too, it just wont work. You either accept there will be flooding and have enough water for farmers or you accept that flooding is the major problem and accept that sometimes you will have not enough water for the farmers. By trying to find the middle way it often goes wrong. This is of course my opinion but it is logical and I don't claim to know more about water management as others because I am Dutch. This is not what i studied for but I can use reason and logic. 

 

 

Rob, calm down.

 

My tongue was firmly in my cheek!

 

"If it ain't raining, it ain't training", OK?

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2 minutes ago, JAG said:

Rob, calm down.

 

My tongue was firmly in my cheek!

 

"If it ain't raining, it ain't training", OK?

JAG I am calm not having a go at you at all.. just thought you really had no clue about it. Not flaming you at all. Just trying to explain things a bit. 

 

You should know flooding is a sensitive topic for me since 2011. Especially at times like this because you can be sure that the government won't give out information that will cause them to lose face. 

 

Anyway I don't think I will get flooded again.. but you never know. I even got some of those fishing waders here at home (bought after 2011) and if it happens again I will make sure I have a pump in my home and make a wall in an effort to keep water out. 

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Get a couple of somchais rowing a boat anchored in the middle, sorted, true Thai style. Then let the peasants have a giant swimming pool, sanookmaak.

 

Or you could call the Dutch but that'd be a serious loss of face, nonononono.

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9 hours ago, JAG said:

Whilst I bow to none in acknowledging the ingenuity and skill of the Dutch in keeping the sea at bay, I'm not so sure that they know that much about coping with the monsoon run off from jungle covered mountains.

 

Mind you, the present bunch...

?

That was my first inclination. 

One can't possible compare completely contrasted locales and situations.

 

 

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12 hours ago, colinneil said:

Is the wording on your post correct?

Did you mean to write tools or fools?

in English colloquial speech the meaning is the same

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20 hours ago, RotMahKid said:

Start building dykes along the rivers and if necessary higher boulevards in the cities  complete with winter- and summer-beds ( The more water the wider the river-beds).

Indeed ask the Netherlands for advice, they do it for centuries and they get rain- and melt water from the mountains from in the rivers from a few other countries.

So in BKK they have to build dykes along every klong??

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