A Growing Issue: Water Scarcity in Phuket
Phuket, a popular resort island in Thailand, is facing increasing water shortage and treatment issues. As the number of tourists visiting the island continues to rise, the demand for water resources is becoming more acute. To mitigate this issue, a collaborative effort between the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR) and local hotels has been initiated.
Developing Canals for Water Storage
One of the strategies proposed to alleviate water shortage during droughts is to develop canals into water storage areas. These canals would have water gates to prevent water from flowing into the sea, thus preserving the resource for the island’s needs. This initiative can help maintain water levels during periods of low rainfall.
Addressing the Lack of Wastewater Treatment Plants
ONWR secretary-general Surasee Kittimonthon highlighted that nine local administrative organizations currently lack wastewater treatment plants. To reduce the environmental impact of these organizations, he suggested creating facilities to handle wastewater treatment in their absence. This approach will help Phuket manage water treatment more efficiently while minimizing harm to the environment.
Partnering with Hotels to Promote Water Conservation
Aiming to reduce water consumption in the hospitality sector, ONWR has proposed a joint project with local hotels. The project involves installing water meters in showers to display real-time water consumption for guests. This initiative can begin with large or international chain hotels, eventually expanding to other establishments.
Sustainable Tourism: A Water Conservation Campaign
By partnering with hotels to reduce water consumption, Phuket can use this effort as a tourism campaign that promotes sustainable tourism. Surasee Kittimonthon also suggested that hotels implement green policies, such as encouraging guests not to change towels every day, to further conserve water resources.
Calls for Additional Reservoirs on the Island
Phuket Chamber of Commerce President Kongsak Khoopongsakorn has urged the government to construct another reservoir on the island. Currently, Phuket’s three reservoirs can store a total of 21 million cubic liters of water, while the island requires an estimated 80 million liters annually. Building an additional reservoir would significantly enhance the island’s water storage capacity, helping to meet the growing demand.
In summary, Phuket faces a pressing issue of water scarcity due to increasing tourism and inadequate infrastructure. By collaborating with hotels, developing water storage canals, addressing wastewater treatment, and promoting sustainable tourism practices, the ONWR and local stakeholders aim to address this challenge for the benefit of the island and its visitors.