AThis is an alert mainly aimed at
expats with gardens in Chiang Mai, currently abroad during European/American
In contrast to last year’s heavy rain this rainy season is
unusually dry. That will have no effect on the indigenous plants unless they
are seedlings, but exotic garden plants and recently planted trees and
saplings may succumb without generous watering. My wife spoke to her brother
in Esan who reported that the rice is dying, which, if this goes on, may
result in higher prices and inflation.
Last year when the heavy rains hit the north, the government had many weeks
to take action to protect southern provinces, but they ignored the
This year the government wanted to show action by lowering the
dams’ water reservoirs in advance, but it is not clever to assume that an
unusually rainy year would repeat itself two years in a row, especially
since the Thai weather is largely due to the El Nino/La Nina oscillations,
which can be predicted fairly accurately based on sea water measurements.
Last year was a La Nina and it did rain a lot. This year was believed to be
neutral, but it is now shifting towards El Nino=dry in Southeast Asia while
wet in South America.
The consequence of lowering the water levels of the dams prior to a drought
might be electricity shortage, which must be battled with higher prices
which will lead to inflation and even more expensive foods.
The argument for
more dams due to an electricity shortage will strike against biodiversity
and the livelihoods of poor fishermen and farmers along the rivers.
I hope none of this will come true and that a generous rain will last for
two months non-stop. Water is life.