Check Dam Construction Project in accordance with the Royal’s Inspiration Ampur Koh Samui, Suratthani Province
Principles and Purposes
Due to the huge increase in population and the growth of the economy, more land is required for housing and living and at the same time food and agricultural goods are needed to be produced to meet the demand of the market.Therefore, forest encroachment in Thailand has increased enormously and as a result the water source has been affected. Deforestation causes drought and interferes with seasonal rainfall. During the rainy season, without woodland being barriers, water would flow freely down the mountain causing severe soil erosion and landslides and damage to agricultural plots and to the inhabitants’ properties. Such happening has become more and more intense and frequent on Koh Samui as well as in Suratthani. The speed of the economic growth has also gathered strength, with resulting high increase in land value during these past years. Forest encroachment causes so much problems such as floods, flash floods, shortage of rain.
His Majesty the King is fully aware of this forestry problem, about which he is very much concerned. The survival of the woodland is the most important aspect to water source as the two go together – no woodland no water. His Majesty has given advice on how to conserve and restore woodlands to the full by building check dams to slow down the water flow and as a result the earth surface would be kept moist.
On the 1st of March 1978, His Majesty the King spoke at Ampur Mae La Noi, Mae Hong Son Province, on the subject of water source. He pointed out the importance of conserving the trees on both sides of the creeks in order to keep the soil moist. He recommended that small check dams should be built along any shallow stream. For water source with loads of water, the building of check dams would be most useful for agricultural purposes.
For the past few years, Koh Samui has been facing with the problem of heavy water flows from the mountain causing floods on its main traffic areas as well as scarcity of water for consumption and usage in 2010. There is not enough natural water source on the island to provide water supply to the inhabitants and for agricultural purposes. Bearing in mind, Koh Samui is the main tourist attraction in Thailand, generating high revenues from tourism together with heavy investment into the island and being the main source of employment for all professions at all levels. If water were scarce on Koh Samui, one could not imagine how much damage it would cause to the country and to the public as a whole.
In recognition of His Majesty the King’s long dedication to the forestry and natural resources for the benefits of the people of Thailand, the Green Island Foundation, in accordance with his suggestion, set up a Check Dam Project on Koh Samui in Suratthani Province, to resolve the scarcity of water on the island by supporting funding and arranging for 1,985 check dams to be built at various water sources.
- To slow down the flow of water in the stream. To allow water to seep through the soil in order to increase the amount of underground water as well as moisture resulting in the biological diversity to the ecosystem. To filter out any residue chemicals orantioxidants used in agriculture before they flow into the stream and become dangerous to the users downstream.
- To reduce the severity of soil erosion. To stop sediments, rocks or fossils flowing down with water.
- To stock up water in the high altitude areas for consumption and usage of the inhabitants including agricultural purposes and wildlife. Also being water sources of underground water for people in the lower altitude areas.
- To carry on the good work in accordance with the Royal’s inspiration in building check dams for the benefits of all the people of Thailand.
To have check dams built into 2 stages. This is to assess the work performance and to make sure that the budget is used in a highly efficient manner.
- 1st Stage 1,800 mixed types of check dams to be built
- 2nd Stage 185 semi-permanent, permanent and permanently larger size to be built.
Carry out such project in water source areas totaling 11 Klong in Koh Samui.
- Publicise the Check Dam Construction Project and its objectives to the private sectors and to the general public widely in order that they can play a part in this project. The more people get involved, the more check dams can be built in all the water sources in Koh Samui providing benefits to the inhabitants. The project is carried out in accordance with the Royal Project and in recognition to His Majesty the King.
- Build as a 1st stage, 1,800 mixed check dams and make assessment of the project,
- Carry out, as a 2nd stage, the construction of 185 semi-permanent, permanent and permanent larger check dams and make assessment of the project.
- 1st stage budget for the construction of 1,800 mixed check dams totals Baht 9 million at Baht 5,000 per check dam.
- 2nd stage budget for the construction of 185 semi-permanent, permanent and permanently larger check dams – Baht25,000, Baht50,000 and Baht100,000 per check dam respectively – totaling Baht7,450,000.
- Operational budget and publicity including the follow up and assessment of such projects is Baht 2,500,000.
Total Budget Baht 18,950,000
- Reduce soil erosion. Modify and prolong the velocity of water flows. Increase humidity spreading around both sides of the stream. Increase the quantity of groundwater.
- Trap sediments and substances in water flows.
- Increase the biological diversity
- Habitat for aquatic animals and water source for wildlife
- Increase the quantity of water supply in water sources to be made available for agriculture and tourism industry in Koh Samui.
- Prevent forest fires
- The inhabitants understand and are aware of the benefits of check dam construction which is in accordance with the Royal Project, and to carry on the Royal wish indefinitely.
Sources of information
- Construction areas will follow the plan based on the map of the Royal Thai Survey Department using the ArcView program. The actual construction and budgeted cost of each area will depend on the condition of the ground and the materials to be used.
- It is planned to construct 2 types of mixed check dams which are stones in a row in the case where the water sources already has existing natural stone and sacks of earth and cement in the ratio of 1:8 in the case where there is no existing natural stone.
- Estimated costs for each check dam refer to the estimation of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.