As has been reported by several news outlets recently, Bangkok currently suffers a severe water shortage and might actually run out of tap water at some point (see recent Reuters article here).
Yesterday I walked by the Grand Hyatt Bangkok and was surprised to spot the above sign in the Lobby. It seems like the outlined scenario hit home now. The sign announces a ‘Salt Water Intrusion’ in the town water system due to critical water shortages in the four key dams that are responsible for Bangkok’s water supply.
Right now the hotel suggests not to consume tap water or even brush your teeth with it, instead bottled water will be provided as usual.
Bangkok has been very hot and dry this year with April / May being traditionally the hottest months of the year. On some days the temperatures reached 39 degrees C – it was overwhelming (at least for myself).
As per Reuters:
Thailand is suffering its worst drought in more than a decade. In an effort to maintain water levels in the dams that supply water for agriculture in the provinces as well as taps in the capital Bangkok, the government has asked farmers to refrain from planting rice since last October.
Despite these measures, water levels are critically low in the three key reservoirs that flow into the Chao Phraya River, one of the two main sources of Bangkok’s tap water.
I don’t think visitors or western residents are effected by this as of now. I have yet to drink a single glass of tap water after spending years in Bangkok, it is simply not recommended for consumption either way.
This could change should hotels be encouraged to close swimming pools or if the overall quality of the tap water reaches critical levels. I don’t see this happening as the current issue is about drinking water coming from the tap. People will still be able to shower and follow their usual routine.