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Shrinking Pattaya Reservoirs

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8 hours ago, forcebwithu said:

Y'all can thank me for the rain. Filled the rainwater collection tank last night from the water truck, so no surprise it's raining buckets of water 12 hours later.


Ants and picnics!

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Had a nice ride out to Huai Chak Nok Reservoir today. The water situation is looking pretty dire there too. Google Earth view of the photo stops today. I've also noted the change in the water's e

Same as Mabprachan, Huai Chak Nok is also slowly recovering, but still extremely low. Extra pump is no longer needed to get the water to the pumping station. I think

And over at Huai Chak Nok Reservoir

Posted Images

I am very pleased to say that the storm trench that brings water across from Khao Talo didn't get a trickle. Fingers crossed that the work they have done at the bottom of the hill and near the railwaylines has worked! (For me anyway)

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17 hours ago, forcebwithu said:

Y'all can thank me for the rain. Filled the rainwater collection tank last night from the water truck, so no surprise it's raining buckets of water 12 hours later.

And I thought it was because I topped off the pool. 

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The Eastern Water Resources dept Weekly Water Situation report for the week ending 13 March is now online (link). Consumption is up from the week before at 4.7 million cubic meters (MCM) for the week. There is now 19 MCM of usable water left in the reservoirs. Using an avg consumption of 4 MCM/week, that gives us about 5 weeks of water left. We're still on track to run dry sometime before 17 April.

BTW, after yesterday's rain the city water supply was again running to my house.

Screen Shot 03-16-20 at 02.50 PM.JPG

Screen Shot 03-16-20 at 02.49 PM.JPG

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A couple of reservoir photo updates today. First up is Huai Chak Nok Reservoir. The Google Earth screenshot gives you a sense of how much the water level has dropped by the progression of the water's edge waypoints over time.

Pic 01: Small holding pond on the western side of the reservoir with its own pumping station.

Pic 02

Pic 03: New since the last update on 15 February is a floating pump house. Probably needed to extend the business end of the pump out into deeper water.


That pump feeds a small retaining pond on the other side of the dam.

Pic 04: The approaching shoreline is about to overrun the overflow structure.


Water Edge as of 17 Mar, 2020

Same spot one month ago on 15 February.

Pic 05


Pic 06


Pic 07

Pic 08



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After my ride around Huai Chak Nok Reservoir I headed over to Mabprachan Reservoir to see if Sunday's rain helped the situation there. 

Looking at the progression of the water's edge waypoints for this reservoir, it looks like Sunday's downpour didn't have an appreciable effect on the drop in water level.

Water Edge as of 17 March, 2020

What was noticeable was the lack of water around the pumps since the last update one week ago. They now have to draw water from a channel that leads to the main body of water.

Pic 01


Pic 02

Water Edge as of 17 March, 2020

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I didn't think that it would make that much difference to the resevoir water levels but it may change the daily usage. Certainly where I live, captured rain water is used for showering rather than storing for watering the plants like you and I do...

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We can all breathe a sigh of relief...

Taps on eastern seaboard 'won't run dry', says Prawit

Problem is the numbers in the article have no bearing on reality.

The government has assured households on the eastern seaboard that their taps will not run dry over coming months.

Industrial development in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) has sparked rising demand for water in several eastern provinces.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon -- director of the country's Water Operation Command Centre -- told media that consumers will not run short despite low levels in reservoirs, because the government has prepared measures to solve a water shortage crisis forecast to worsen next month.

At 30% capacity, major reservoirs feeding the eastern seaboard have enough water to last until the end of June, but authorities are hoping rain in May will replenish stocks.

The Eastern Water Resources dept Weekly Water Situation report for the week ending 13 March (link) clearly shows the percentage of reservoir capacity is a lot less than 30%. In fact the percentage listed in the chart is using current storage volume, not useable storage volume, so the useable percentage is even lower than what's listed. Usable percentages: Bangphra (15%), Nongkho (14%), Dokrai (20%), Nongplalai (8%), Klong Yai (3%), Prasae (17%). Note: Klong Yai and Prasae no longer are a water source for Pattaya as we're now cut off from that reservoir due to the low water level there.
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He also had this to say,
Gen Prawit said the government would extract 14 million cubic metres of water from old mining sites. The Royal Irrigation Department has also diverted 10 million cubic metres from a river in Chanthaburi province to replenish three reservoirs in Rayong and Chon Buri provinces.

The jury is still out on that statement. If true we should see in the 20 March report inflow numbers reflecting the additional water coming into the reservoirs. I wonder what the oddsmakers have to say about that happening.

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They will if my Mrs has anything to do with it!

I never noticed that apparently they are turning off the water all night at my place.... have a tank so didn't notice.

Neighbour who doesn't told me.


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49 minutes ago, jacko said:

They will if my Mrs has anything to do with it!

I never noticed that apparently they are turning off the water all night at my place.... have a tank so didn't notice.

Neighbour who doesn't told me.


Same here mate... Also, I am located at the beginning of the new supply line in to Trailor Trash Town where I live so my tank is filled before anybody else gets water........

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Now that we're getting down to the last bits of usable water it's quite visible how quickly Mabprachan Reservoir is shrinking.

The southern water's edge as of today.

Pic 01: Not much water left in the reservoir. The only relatively deep water that remains is close to the dam, with the majority of the area left covered in water relatively shallow. Best guess is there's maybe two weeks, three at the most of usable water in Mabprachan.

Pic 02

North side is more shallow than the southern side, so the water's edge is receding at a faster pace.

Only a small channel of water left now leading to the overflow structure.

Pic 03

They're going to have to get some equipment in soon to dig the channel to the pumps deeper.

Pic 04


Pic 05

Pic 06


Pic 07: I realized I've been remiss in not taking the iconic photo of the dried up lake bed. Now rectified.


Pic 08

Pic 09: Have to be careful where you ride on the lake bed. Some spots are still wet and soft enough underneath that you can easily sink up to your wheel hubs in muck if you pick the wrong place to cross.

Pic 10: Channel in the land bridge still too deep to cross, unless you want to swim.

Some of the high spots now poking out of the water have cylindrical concrete forms next to them. No idea what purpose they served.


Fishing is apparently still good. Good they're catching a meal now rather than letting the fish go to waste when there's nothing left but a mud hole.


Pic 11

Another marker for the edge of the water as of today.

Whoever lost a boat anchor, you can retrieve it now.

Pic 12: Hard to tell from a distance where there's a clear path across the lake bed. Hit two dead ends in my ride back to the old shoreline.

Pic 13: Another dead end unless I wanted to wade across in muck up to my knees.

Pic 14

Pic 15: What once was probably a good fishing spot.

I'm afraid this ride took a toll on my bike. I felt something wasn't right with the rear derailleur during my ride through heavy weeds from the pumping station to Pic 07. It finally gave out, more like a catastrophic failure, during the last push up the sandy embankment to the bike path around the reservoir. The bit you see in the pic stuck in the cassette is supposed to be pointed 180 degrees the other way. My bad luck continued when I walked 2.5 km around the reservoir to Cycle Hub, only to find they're closed on Tuesdays. Fortunately I had the phone number for Eastern Bike, who came and picked me up. I'll find out tomorrow what the damage will be to my wallet for the fix. I'll then open a GoFundMe page. ?

Edited by forcebwithu
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Good news, the rear derailleur was quickly replaced and only set me back 1,500B + 200B for the pickup from where I broke down. Bad news, they replaced the derailleur with the wrong model so it jams when I try to shift up into the two highest gears. Not worth the time and effort to go back to the shop to have them do it correctly, instead ordered the correct model from Lazada for 1,200B which should arrive from China in about a week. Meanwhile the bike is still rideable, so did a group ride with friends this morning and when we were near Huai Chak Nok Reservoir, split from the group to get a photo update of the current water levels there.

For reference, picture waypoints and receding water edge marked on Google Earth.

Pic 1

The water's edge since the last update 10 days ago isn't as dramatic as what is happening at Mabprachan Reservoir. Perhaps because the demand for water from this reservoir is less.

For comparison, on 17 March the water's edge was just on the other side of the overflow structure.

Pic 2

Pic of water's edge on the other side.

When I turned around and looked on the other side of the dam, I at first thought these two rigs in the distance might be for drilling bore holes.

Unfortunately, on closer inspection I saw they were pile drivers. I wonder if the water dept has even considered drilling bore holes as a backup water supply.

Pic 3

Click on black circle waypoints to view date shoreline was at that point.

Edited by forcebwithu
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Got out and had a look at Mabprachan Reservoir this morning. Since the water that remains is relatively shallow, the shoreline has receded quite a bit from the last update five days ago.

Maps of the receding shoreline and photo waypoints are now at the end of the post.

Pic 01: View from the south end of the dam.

The southern shoreline as of today. In a few days that finger of water will be nothing but a memory.

They're catching some nice size fish now.


Pic 02: Not much of gap left between the dam and the dry land on the other side of the shallow channel of water.

Pic 03: The landbridge gap in the distance is now dry.



Pic 04: Quite a few of the fishermen are using the dry highpoints for their fishing base of operation.

The north side shoreline is more like a small cove now.

And the shore is quite a big bigger than five days ago.

Pic 05

Pic 06: Not much water left.

Pic 10: Since the last update they've dug the channel to the pumps a bit deeper.

Pic 11: Fulfilling a request for a dead tree fan.

Pic 12

Pic 13: It's looking like the Flower Land retaining pond is going to have water when the reservoir is nothing but a mud hole.


To make it easier to see how much the shoreline has receded over time, I'm trying something new with an embedded map that has waypoints for where the shoreline was on the different update dates.

To view the date the shoreline was at that point, click on the black circle waypoint in the map.

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Someone should teach the Eastern Water Resources Dept that by definition a weekly water situation report is meant to be released weekly, not two at a time every two weeks. Same as they did the last couple of reports. Anyway, I see this morning both reports for the 20th and 27th have now been posted (link).

First thing I checked to see is if the statement Gen Prawit made on 19 March, "the government would extract 14 million cubic metres of water from old mining sites. The Royal Irrigation Department has also diverted 10 million cubic metres from a river in Chanthaburi province to replenish three reservoirs in Rayong and Chon Buri provinces", did in fact happen.

Checking both reports I see inflows were .066 MCM on the 27th and .15 MCM on the 20th. So, nope, and at no great surprise, the water diversion didn't happen.

The good news, such as it is, with the large decrease of tourist numbers and exodus of people from the area, that has had a positive impact on the weekly consumption rate. For the period 13 - 20 March, consumption was 1.84 MCM, and 20 - 27 March consumption was 3.65 MCM. That averages out to 2.75 MCM/week, down from the approx 4 MCM/week we averaged before.

The reservoirs in the report now have 13.53 MCM of usable water left. Using an avg consumption of 2.75 MCM/week, that gives us about 5 weeks of water left. That pushes out my previous estimate of running dry around 17 April to 1 May. Hope those May rains get the word they have to start falling on the 1st.

Screen Shot 03-30-20 at 09.04 AM.JPG

Screen Shot 03-30-20 at 09.03 AM.JPG

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Not helping the shortage of water situation is the slow response from the water dept to fixing breaks in the main.

Our soi had a major break yesterday morning. In this case the water didn't make it to the surface, but instead the water found a path directly to the storm water drains underneath. You couldn't see the water, but you could definitely hear the gushing water. It was immediately reported, but no one bothered to come to even shut the main off.

A few minutes ago I heard a jack hammer at work so went to check it out. While I'm happy to see they're finally working on the break, 24 hours later, I was a bit surprised to see their first order of business wasn't to shut the main off. The water you see in the pic below isn't a puddle, but a river rushing by the opening.


Edited to add: They've now dug down to the main (black pipe at the bottom of the trench) and cut out the broken section.

Edited by forcebwithu
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Since Mabprachan is shrinking fast I've increased the frequency of updates. Got out early this morning for another update to beat the heat of the day.

Map updated with waypoints marking the current shoreline edge.

The receding southern shoreline

The dry land opposite the dam is edging even closer



Hard to get a fix on what is the northern shoreline edge since it's a cove.


Where three days ago there were five pumps, not that I ever saw them all in use at the same time, now there is one.

A thirsty city skyline in the distance that will soon need to look elsewhere for their water needs.


Edited by forcebwithu
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After Mabprachan, next stop was a photo recon on the state of Huai Chak Nok Reservoir.

Map updated with waypoints marking the current shoreline edge.

When I got to the turnoff for the road over the dam, I was surprised to see they had it barricaded. No doubt closed due to the latest edict from the Chonburi Governor to keep people from gathering in groups of any size. Since I was a group of one, and seeing a guy walking his dogs in the distance I figured I'd chance it. So lifted my bicycle over the barricade and had a nice quiet ride by my lonesome self across the dam.

New since the last update is a retaining wall around this pumping station, and a pump to get water from the main body into the small pond. What I don't understand is why they just didn't dig the channel deeper eliminating the need for a pond and another pump.

The latest position of the receding shoreline, just on the other side of the pumping station.


Final pic is the other receding shoreline.

Edited by forcebwithu
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