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Mae Ngat Somboon Chon Dam, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Mae Ngat Somboon Chon Dam is in the area of responsibility of Si Lanna National Park, which is located on the bank of Mae Ngud, a branch of Mae Ping River, Tambon Cho Lae, Amphoe Mae Teang, Chiang Mai Province. To get there, drive along Highway 107 (Chiang Mai-Fang Road) until reaching the 41 km and turn right for 11-12 km. Mae Ngat Somboon Chon Dam was formerly named Mae Ngud Dam. The dam was built under the royal initiative of His Majesty the King in order to provide irrigation for agriculture in Mae Ngud basin. The irrigation area spreads over 20,000 Rai to the right and 10,000 to the left of the basin. The earth-filled dam is 59 meters tall and 1,950 meters long. It occupies the area of 16 square kilometres and has the capacity to hold up to 26.5 million cubic metres of water.

At the dam, there are two dynamos which generate 4,500 kilowatts each, amounting to the production of 9,000 kilowatts and the total production of 24.5 million kilowatt-hours per year. Apart from providing irrigation to agricultural pediments on both banks of Mae Ngud River, the dam also provide water supply to other irrigation projects on 62,000 Rai in the southern areas, such as Mae Faek and Old Mae Ping. Royal Irrigation Department started the construction for Mae Ngud Dam in 1977 and completed it in 1985, taking altogether nine years of construction. On January 22, 1986, His Majesty the King named the dam ‘Mae Ngud Somboon Chon’ and, soon afterward, proceeded to preside at the opening ceremony of the dam on February 22.

Mae Ngat Somboon Chon Dam has contributed much to the well-being of local people in the irrigation area, where agriculture is the main source of income. Growing seasonal crops (perennials, fruit crops and annual crops) and other vegetables is made possible throughout the year. The dam, in addition, also helps relief the problem of inundation around Mae Ping Basin, particularly flooding that arrives in the city of Chiang Mai. Moreover, it is a location for marine life farming; for example, fish, where local people can earn a second income through inland fisheries.

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