Groundwater resources to boost supply


PHUKET: Sakda Vicheansil, Director General of the Department of Groundwater Resources, yesterday (26 May) presided over the launch of a project to explore and assess the potential of deep groundwater in Phuket under the government’s plan aimed at avoiding future water shortages.

Sakda Vicheansil, Director General of the Department of Groundwater Resources, samples water pumped from one of the wells drilled to assess Phuket’s groundwater reserves. Photo: PR Phuket

Sakda said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa had ordered the Department of Groundwater Resources to develop a project to help address the problem of water shortages following a Cabinet resolution in November 2020.

“Phuket is the largest island in Thailand with a total area of ​​over 543 square kilometers. The region features mountains and beautiful beaches, which is important for the tourism industry which provides jobs and generates a lot of income for the local people,” Mr. Sakda said.

“There is also the agricultural sector, which covers most of the island, and the continued expansion of urban communities in the Phuket area has affected demand for various basic public services,” he added. .

“Inevitably, this includes water resources, which is a basic utility which is a key driver for development, but since the water management system and water storage in the area is limited, there is a water shortage problem for drinking,” said Mr. Sakda.

“The project is to explore and assess the potential for deep groundwater management in Phuket in order to use all the data obtained to analyze and process the summaries of deep groundwater potential, both quantitatively and qualitatively,” said Mr Sakda.

A total of 45 wells have already been drilled, half of which can deliver a volume of more than 5 cubic meters per hour, Sakda noted.

Of the 45 wells, 14 proved to be large groundwater sources capable of delivering more than 10 cubic meters of water per hour. The 14 wells were in four areas: Rassada, Wichit, Cherng Talay and Mai Khao.

“We will use all the information obtained to analyze and process the data to determine the potential of deep groundwater in terms of quantity and quality, as well as to design groundwater pumping systems and water distribution systems to use to create guidelines for effective water and groundwater management. development of resources for better living so that people have a source of underground water for consumption,” Mr. Sakda said.

The guidelines developed will be used in other areas of the archipelago with similar geological characteristics in the future, he said.

There was no mention yesterday of the Phang Nga pipeline which is supposed to be under construction to supplement Phuket’s public water supply – a major infrastructure project launched after Phuket suffered severe water shortages in 2018 and 2019.

Nor was it explained why Phuket was seeking to deplete groundwater sources when the island had just opened a large water park, the opening of which was openly promoted on the Authority’s official Facebook page. provincial water of Phuket.

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