Thailand capitalises on groundwater to cope with drought hinh anh 1A picture taken in 2020 shows a woman walking on an arid rice field in Suphanburi province of Thailand (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Thailand is working to tap into groundwater resources in its most arid regions in the face of severe drought in the hottest season.

The groundwater department has sent geologists and more than 80 teams to areas without irrigation networks and regions hit by water shortages as dam water levels are depleted.

During a recent visit to the northeastern province of Yasothon, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Varawut Silpa-Archa said the amount of groundwater underneath Thailand is tremendous, estimating 10 percent to 15 percent of the country’s more than 700 million litres of rainwater is beneath the ground.

Groundwater abstraction has been controversial in some countries, with concern about an over-reliance on underground sources instead of protecting and better managing water resources on the surface.

Some conservation groups pointed out that groundwater abstraction is drying out lakes and wetlands while causing aquifers to deplete and land to sink like what has happened in and around Bangkok capital city.

Minister Varawut also said “every precaution” is being taken to prevent damage and sinkholes.

Despite efforts to convince farmers to cultivate crops that are less water-intensive, water demand for agriculture keeps growing. To try to harness future supplies, authorities are studying whether to develop hundreds more groundwater resources./.