BANGKOK (NNT) – The Office of National Water Resources (ONWR), is working to complete its Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) by February to inform approaches to remedying repeated flooding in the Mun River basin.

Secretary-General of the ONWR Dr. Somkiat Prajamwong, said today that studies under the National Water Resource Master Plan have concluded that the Mun River basin covers an area of 44 million Rai with 33 million Rai being farmland. Demand for water in the area exceeds 10 billion cubic meters, with the river providing only 5.35 billion cubic meters. The imbalance is the source of many issues relating to the river.

The ONWR head said an SEA was compiled to outline the capacity and limitations of the river basin and direct effective utilization of its resources.

A focus of the assessment was participation, from the analysis of problems to possible solutions and alternatives. Forums were held alongside economic and social surveys, to gather opinions and to ensure that plans would be appropriate to the needs of basin residents.

The area encompasses 1,282 sub-districts in 151 districts spread across 10 provinces of the northeast. While analysis of the SEA could take up to a year, preliminary plans include developing a temporary water reservoir for agriculture, using tributaries to store water during the rainy season and construction of a subterranean reservoir.

The SEA is to be completed in February and publicized among local agencies and residents, with the intention of leading to a sustainable management plan for water in the Mun river basin.

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