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Eli Gil, Counsellor, Consul and head of administration for Israel

Water Shortage May End, With Israel's Help

Monday, June 25, 2012
PHUKET: Israel's Consul in Thailand, Eli Gil, visited Phuket last week and offered to help with the island's water problem.

What puzzled the consul is what puzzles many people about Phuket.

''How come you have so much rain on Phuket and you still have a problem with your water supply?'' the consul asked Vice Governor Dr Sommai Preechasin when the two met at Provincial Hall in Phuket City.

Then the consul answered his own question: ''There's plenty of water. It should be possible to store enough to meet all of your needs on Phuket, all year round.''

Israel, of course, dry and dusty at times, would love to have Phuket's monsoon downpours.

And the consul believes that with a little help, Phuket's chronic feast or famine, flood or drought mentality could be swiflty converted to year-round running taps.

Coincidentally, a meeting of Phuket water authorities and local council administrations a few days earlier made the point that next high, dry season is likely to leave Phuket with insufficient water to meet demand.

This is despite the massive amounts of water that were dumped on Phuket by one of the longest, most persistent monsoon storm seasons anyone could remember.

Canals were filled to overflowing . . . and most of that pure, clear rainwater flowed straight to the sea. Come February, though, and resorts will be importing water and paying a premium price for tanker loads.

Crazy? Yes.

The meeting of officials is even considering a pipeline coming from the mainland to boost supplies. What the consul could have told them with a bit more time is that the rain that falls on Phuket can be contained will less expense.

Dry parts of the world know how to trap water effectively and ensure a regular supply. There are even some resorts on Phuket where good examples have been set.

And why, for example, are rainwater tanks or lagoons not an essential part of every new property development on Phuket? We are sure that is a question the consul would have asked if the conversation had been specifically about water.

As it was, Dr Sommai also admitted Phuket had a garbage disposal problem. We can't speak for Israel, but most places have a ''Reduce, Reuse, Recycle'' program in place.

Water desalination plants and Incinerators are high-tech, high cost ways of addressing the issues of water supply and garbage oversupply, but the real answers are always simpler and more effective.

We hope when consul Eli Gil sends his advice about water, he adds something about garbage as well.

The meeting heard that Thailand had 45,000 visitors from Israel last year, that numbers are rising at 10 percent a year, and that most of them spend some time on Phuket.

Comments

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We installed a rainwater collection system in our guesthouse years ago and it paid it self in two years.
The system can supply the house in rainy periods, but to collect and store water for longer periods require much larger capacity than can be established in a city house.
To create long time storage huge concrete tanks or artificial lakes is needed, but it can be done if somebody want to pay.

Posted by Niku on June 25, 2012 14:45

Editor Comment:

Great. Every new property development should have its own water supply - tanks, lagoon or well.

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''How come you have so much rain on Phuket and you still have a problem with your water supply?''
Good question, some answers can be:
Doing the dishes with running water, washing the car/motorcycle every day with running water, leaking central water supplies, good business with selling truckloads of water, golf courses always close to water reservoirs, where wells are on high levels, all year.
There are lots of inexpensive solutions, to stop water shortage. One would be: Charge more, for water!
And check the coincidences, why a (private) golf course comes with a public(paid) water reservoir, mostly!

Posted by ??? on June 25, 2012 16:00

Editor Comment:

The main reason, ???, is that the vast majority of the water escapes to the sea.

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Its pretty simple: channel water from a large hill into a reservoir.

At Katathani, we have a rain catchment reservoir at the bottom of Kata Noi hill. It enables us to collect more than a quarter of a million dollars of water per year while conserving the delicate island water supply.

Most chain hotels would never think of doing that, but Katathani has been here for 25+ years... It makes good sense financially, communally and environmentally.

The media is welcome to visit us for learning more and spreading the good word.

Posted by Jacob on June 26, 2012 08:28

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Hi editor,
I find this very interesting. Can you guesstimate how much resorts pay for the water they purchase? Per 1-5- or 10,000 gallons.
Thanks John

Posted by John on July 11, 2012 00:04


Wednesday January 22, 2020
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