Urban Flood in Bangkok

July 1, 2016
Sutiwat Prutthiprasert

Thailand Current Water Situation


Water level has not increased as much in the upper part of Thailand. The rain fall mostly in the central part of Thailand where’s no major dam in the area. However, the water level in the water system still remains low despite heavy rain in some area which cause occasional urban/ street flood where drainage capacity is not adequate. In the short future, there is no cyclone would directly affect Thailand’ precipitation, the chance of river flood is low. However, the chance of heavy rain could occur throughout the country. Location which has low drainage capacity should be aware.

RID news: http://water.rid.go.th/news/news_59_043.htm

The irrigation Department announced that Main objective for this rainy season is to store water as much as possible until next drought. All of the major dams still have much capacity to receive. In the past weeks, there are more water flow into the dams but not exceed the amount of water released to maintain the environment. The irrigation department will try to distribute the water as much efficient as possible.

Forecast: http://www.tmd.go.th/thailand.php

In the next week, Thailand would have chance to rain in entire country and likely to have heavy rain in the North, North East, and Central. Chance of heavy rain in western area of southern part of Thailand.

Flood events

  • Urban Flood in Bangkok: 21 June Urban flood in Bangkok Street across the city and caused traffic jams in Bangkok. The severe flooded road was a section of Lat Phrao Road and Ratchadaphisek with traffic barely moving for hours. The cause of flood was reported by BMA that drainage had been clogged with over 5 tons of trash in waterway. This includes furniture as shown in the link. http://thaiflood.kapook.com/view150941.html; The amount of urban flood has damage houses in Ramintra road. The flood in the area was approximately 1-1.5m at the same level as 2011.




Dam Water Level: http://www.waterforthai.org/th/dam-report

Water level in all major dam appear to be decreasing/ storage levels for the Bhumibol, Sirikit, Kwae Noi, and Pasak dams are 30%, 37%, 26%, and 19% respectively.

Precipitation: http://www.arcims.tmd.go.th/dailydata/MonthRain.php

Total monthly rainfall: Since the beginning of June, precipitation occurs throughout Thailand, and more in the south west, north and north east of Thailand. Departure from normal: In compare to moderate years, amount of rain fall in Thailand is much lower than average. -100 – -200 mm except south west. Total rainfall from 1 January: From the beginning of the year until June, many provinces had rain approximately 300 mm likely started in June. However, compare to the left figure, the rain in less than average in many area.

Weather forecast: JUNE: http://www.tmd.go.th/monthly_forecast.php

Region Rainfall Rainy days Max. Temperature Min. Temperature
Northern 160-200 mm 17-20 day 32-34℃ 24-26℃
Northeastern 190-230 mm 16-19 day 33-35℃ 24-26℃
Central 140-180 mm 15-18 day 33-35℃ 25-27℃
Eastern 250-300 mm 16-19 day 32-34℃ 25-27℃
Southeastern 100-140 mm 13-16 day 32-34℃ 24-26℃
Southwestern 300-400 mm 18-21 day 31-33℃ 24-26℃

The Upper Chao Phraya River Flow: http://water.rid.go.th/flood/plan_new/chaophaya/

Water Level in many canals are normal. Water canals can take much more water runoff from upstream.

The Lower Chao Phraya River Flow: http://water.rid.go.th/flood/plan_new/chaophaya/

Normal water levels and flow are observed in all areas.

Thailand Water Management Forum 2016:

20/6/2016 Interrisk Asia Thailand had attended Thailand Water Management Forum 2016; the organizer was Siam Cement Group (SCG), Utokapat and Thai Journalists Association (TJA). The forum aims to provide a pragmatic exchange about water management innovations in Thailand.

Thailand is now facing water management issue, from both draught and flood. Therefore, long-term water management should be done to solve the problem. Irrigation area only covers 20% of the agricultural area in Thailand. The ability to catch water in the north east of Thailand is quite poor, only 3% of rainfall can be stored from (250,000 mil cm3). In addition, Thai agriculture consumes a lot more water than it should when compare to neighbor country. To conclude, Thailand has lots of water, but struggling with managing precipitation, water store and consumption.

The forum discusses the water management issue in 3 topics namely; Water supply, Water demand and Water management.

Water Supply management does not have to be only on the upstream in the north. The water management can be in the other region’s upper stream. Water in the mid-stream should be detained by utilized water barrage and water gate. Water way should be clear and increase capacity. Lower stream, even though there’s much rain but could still affect by drought and reverse salt water.

Water Demand should concerns the future increasing water demand and reduces water consumption. The forum considers the appropriate use of water and study possibility of water taxing to increase water value.

Water Management requires that people should know the real amount of water stored to be adapting to the situation. Water management requires to restores natural water resource, storage and water usage guideline for different land use. It is necessary to make water basin management map including land management. Irrigation area should consider long term management and long term plan with enough water storage. Government should consider assign an organization to develop and manage water system which make the water management plan every 4-5 years for accordance policy and funding.

At the moment it is appears that Thai water management are done base on ad-hoc operation but no long term plan, we need more holistic plan regarding this matter and at the moment communities starts working from their own with government support. They are looking forward for co-operation between government, private sector, stakeholder and communities to solve the problem from the small scale in the mean while.

Keep up to date: Water news application: http://www.thaiwater.net/v3/research

        Thaiwater or NHC has produce mobile application to update flood situation and announcement on mobile. The application update 24 hours and includse water level, dam level, storm forecast, whether forecast and announcement. The application is easy to use and it is recommend factory in flood prone area in Thailand should use it.
















Sutiwat Prutthiprasert