The water volume in Srinagarindnd Dam in Kanchanaburi province is increasing during this rainy season and it is expected to help cope with water shortages in the drought season.
The dam is also planning to improve its hydropower units to enhance the efficiency of electricity generation. Srinagarind Dam is operated by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and plays a crucial role in hydropower generation and agricultural production.
Situated on the Khwae Yai River basin in Si Sawat district, Srinagarind Dam is the first and largest multi-purpose dam under the Mae Klong River Basin Development Project. This rock-fill dam is 140 meters high, 610 meters long, 15 meters wide at the crest, and 586 meters wide at the dam base. The reservoir area covers 419 square kilometers, with a water storage capacity of 17,745 million cubic meters.
Construction of the dam began in 1973 and was completed in 1980. Its hydropower plant accommodates five generating units with a combined capacity of 720 megawatts. Total investment in the project, comprising the dam, the power plant with five generating units, and a transmission system, was 6,811 million baht.
This multi-purpose dam provides a water supply for agriculture all year round, generates 1,250 million kilowatts of electricity annually, serves as a fish breeding source for local residents to earn more income, and prevents saline water from damaging the area at the mouth of the Mae Klong River. Moreover, it helps ease the flooding situation along the Mae Klong River basin, as it can store a large volume of water during the rainy season. Srinagarind Dam has also become one of famous tourist attractions in Kanchanaburi, and it welcomes more than 100,000 visitors each year.
The situation in Kanchanaburi is that it faces flash floods and even earthquakes at times. According to EGAT, Srinagarind Dam is equipped with a safety system enabling in to ride out earth tremors. The dam’s structural safety is also checked on a regular basis by technical experts and maintained in line with international standards.
The dam was designed to have the ability to withstand an earthquake of up to magnitude seven. If the tremor is more powerful than the limit, the wall of the dam could sink 2.5 meters but its ability to retain water and resist the water pressure would not be affected. The public has been assured of the strength of Srinagarind Dam.
EGAT also attaches great importance to environmental issues. During the operations of Srinagarind Dam and the hydropower plant, monitoring programs and post environmental evaluations are undertaken every five years to ensure environmental equilibrium.
Srinagarind Dam is about 200 kilometers northwest of Bangkok and it takes about two and a half hours by car. The dam site has been developed into a recreation area for the public, as well.