Investigation of Aquatic Environment and Social Aspects of Thermal Power Plant Operation in Southern of Thailand

  •  Sarawuth Chesoh    
  •  Apiradee Lim    


Community acceptance and public participation play essential role in sustainable energy development. This study aimed to investigate the current situations of the aquatic environment and social aspects of Chana thermal power plant operation in Songkhla province of Thailand. Water quality, plankton, macro benthic fauna and fish larvae in the Na Thap River were monthly examined from January 2013 to December 2013. Moreover, 410 of villager households were selected to interview. The results revealed that water quality index can be classified as fairly clean fresh surface water resources used for consumption, but requires special water treatment process before using and for industry. Change of river’s flow direction will be increased potential of saltwater intrusion into the freshwater zone in dry season, and about 3% of annual upstream fish catch decrease, was identified. Of the 410 sampled households, most of the respondents were farmers (48.6%), employees (21.1%), local traders (17.8%) and fishermen (5.1%). Most of them (61.4%) had a monthly income 500 USD. About 77.8% of respondents complained that they and family members got sick annually. The majority of 86.6% expressed that they agreed to the power plant operation because of increasing economic growth and community development enabling. Only 13.4% have protested against the project because of environmental impact concerns and livelihood deterioration issues. Our findings indicated that aquatic environmental quality range suitable for the protection of aquatic life and sustaining biodiversity. Overall EGAT’s community service programs were highly satisfied. Establishing guidelines for collaboration among the authorities and community’s acceptance for reaching countryside happiness are our suggested.

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