Thais asked to shower less as drought worsens

Thais asked to shower less as drought worsens

Youths prepare to plunge into the Chao Phraya river on Dec 30, 2019
Youths prepare to plunge into the Chao Phraya river for a swim in Bangkok on Dec 30, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Mladen/Antonov)

BANGKOK: Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday (Jan 7) urged people to turn off taps and shower less to cope with a drought afflicting northern and central Thailand.

Last week, Bangkok's water authority said the capital's tap water was becoming saline as seawater pushed up the depleted Chao Phraya river, a source of much of central Thailand's water.

The Cabinet agreed on Tuesday to spend 3 billion baht (US$100 million) on boreholes and pipes to extract ground water to relieve a drought that is expected to worsen in the next few months, a government spokeswoman told reporters.

Thailand's dry season started in November and usually lasts through April, although this year authorities say it could go on through June. A drought has been declared in 14 provinces in the central, northern and northeastern farming regions.

READ | When the rain doesn’t come: Thailand in grip of severe drought as monsoon season fails to deliver

"Please all help save water. Turn off all the taps. Use less water," Prayuth said. "Reduce tooth-brushing and shower time by one minute."

With reservoir levels low, the government has also asked farmers in some provinces near the Chao Phraya River basin not to grow off-season rice.

Source: Reuters/ga

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