Thailand is affected by a large statewide drought. Around 42 provinces and 152 districts are hit hard. Farmers are getting the brunt of it because most of their irrigation water comes from natural sources that have been quickly drying up in the past few weeks.
Another issue is that a dam in the town of Khon Kaen located in Northeast Thailand is so low on water that its ability to produce electricity is getting less and less every day. Drought and the lack of electricity in the Northeast (Issan) Provinces is of very grave concern.
Right now farmers have been told to suspend their planting of rice and are encouraged to change their crops to more of a drought resistant plant. What is making it difficult is the quick push and lack of time/knowledge to implement a new crop. Many officials believe that the farmers will survive with the current rice crop until the rainy season in April. So there is high hope for some farmers who have been through this type of drought in the past. The only concern is will these drought be more common in the near future.
The water basin of the most famous river in Thailand the Chao Phraya, has 12% less of water in its dam than what it had last year. This equates to 2,000,000,000 m³.
Another interesting fact is that the popular water festival called Songkran(Thailand’s new year) had to be cut short to three days because of the shortage of water. Several water filling stations during the water festival had to be scrapped. The government believes that the new year Festival will bring the most revenue that Thailand has ever had in the last 10 years.