Authorities predict that Thailand is likely to encounter a drought crisis in 2016 which may be the worst recorded in the past 50 years.
In preparation to this crisis, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has already started imposing measures in response to this potential crisis.
The measures involve conserving water consumption balanced with other projects to mitigate agricultural losses during the expected dry season.
Dr Seree Suparatit, Director of Climate Change and Disasters in Rangstit University, said that in 2016 the drought crisis is the most crucial impact from El Nino. Water levels from large reservoirs such as Chao Phraya river could be reduced by 40% in comparison to the previous year. This can affect water consumption in various industries, especially agriculture.
In addition to the drought crisis in the early part of the year, Dr Seree also added that by August 2017, Thailand may encounter a serious flood disaster due to La Nina, wich is effectively the opposite of El Nino.
For Thailand, the rainfall will be higher than normal and may cause flooding in several areas. however, the level of severity will depend on the impact strength of La Nina.
Currently, it is impossible to forecast the severity of the disaster or the occurence of flooding until mid- 2016. Thai citizens are advised to be prepared for the upcoming crisis.
Dr. Seree suggested that farmers should build water reservoir or monkey cheeks areas – small- medium size reservoirs to retain water during the rainy season for use in the dry season (so named as monkeys save water in their cheeks).
For urban areas, it is advised to renovate the canals and water storage system to be consistent with the expansion of the city.
As my boy scout leader used to say, it is best to be prepared.