Thailand calls on manufacturers to cut water usage hinh anh 1Drought in Thailand (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) of Thailand has urged industrial producers to cut water consumption amid the intensifying drought.

Earlier, the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives called on farmers to switch to plants that need less water and downsize spring-summer crops.

According to an agreement made by relevant private and government agencies and major water consumers, 66 percent of total water from the country's major reservoirs will be allocated for the agricultural sector. Another 7.3 percent has been set aside for the industrial sector, 10.2 percent for personal consumption, 15.4 percent for saltwater intrusion mitigation, and the remaining 0.43 percent for tourism.

A 20-30 percent drop in factories’ water consumption is required from now through to the end of June, when the dry season is expected to end.

The Ministry of Industry said around 500,000 cu.m of waste-water from 2,300 food processing plants will be used to irrigate 8,000ha of agricultural land.

The agriculture sector, meanwhile, is the one most likely to be hit by water shortage, and its effects would ripple throughout the entire Thai economy.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation predicted that Thailand’s rice production will fall around 16 percent this year to 16.5 million tonnes from 19.8 million tonnes.

In another move, the Thai government has decided to add drinking water to the special price control list to protect citizens.

The authorities urged households to reserve drinking water for the drought season, which lasts until May, due to concern over the unavailability of tap water for households in Bangkok and the provinces of Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan.-VNA