Koh Samui residents hit by water shortage for months


RESIDENTS of Koh Samui’s Bophut subdistrict turned to the media for help after suffering water shortage for four months now with tap water either not flowing at all or flowing weakly and it is also salty, Naewna newspaper said this afternoon (Apr. 5).

They added that they had complained to the Provincial Waterworks Authority several times but the officials have still not been able to concretely and permanently solve the problem.

This problem comes at a time when tourism at the world-famous destination has revived after the Covid-19 pandemic eased. Both Thai and foreign holidaymakers are flocking in but water supply shortage will have a negative impact as hotels and other rental accommodation, shops, restaurants and tour operators are also affected.

Mr. Ratchaporn Poolsawat, head of the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association, met representatives of residents and business operators at the entrance of Soi Khao Phra in Bophut subdistrict, one of the places hit by water supply shortage, and said he will raise the issue with Surat Thani Governor Wichawut Jinto and Provincial Waterworks Authority Chief Wiboon Wongsakul to find a way to resolve the problem.

Those affected said they are now in deep trouble having to buy water everyday with the monthly bill reaching 12,000-14,000 baht.

They added that in the past the tap water flowed well but for four to five months now there is almost no flow. Sometimes it flows one day a week which is not sufficient for their needs.

One of them said he has been on the island for twenty years and has never encountered this serious water supply problem.

Ratchaporn said during the Covid pandemic almost all the hotels on the island had closed but now that the situation is better around 70-80% of them have reopened and more are getting ready to do so. There is now a big demand for water with this leading to a shortage in the centre of the tourist zone. Some hotels spend 2 to 3 million baht a year buying water.

Later the manager of the Koh Samui branch of the Provincial Waterworks Authority and his team came to meet residents who have been affected by shortage of supply,

He explained that at present insufficient amount of water is entering the pumping plant for production and allocation of budget is awaited to build an additional pumping plant to channel water on the island.

To immediately ease the shortage a booster pump is being installed. As to the water being salty this is due to seawater entering Chaweng swamp which is the source of freshwater for tap water production because one of the floodgates has been damaged and is being repaired.


Above: A bird’s eye view of Koh Samui. Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand

Insert: Koh Samui residents complaining about water shortage. Photos: Naewna

Front Page: Koh Samui’s Lamai Beach. Photo: Fabio Achilli (CC BY 2.0)

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TNR staff

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