2015 Cheow Lan Lake (Thailand)
Cheow Lan Lake[a] (Thai: เชี่ยวหลาน, RTGS: Chiao Lan) or Rajjaprabha Dam Reservoir (อ่างเก็บน้ำเขื่อนรัชชประภา, RTGS: Ratchaprapha~), is in Khao Sok National Park in Surat Thani Province, Thailand. It is an 185-square-kilometre (71 sq mi) artificial lake, inaugurated in 1987 with the construction of Rajjaprapha Dam by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) as a source of electricity. Rajjaprabha Dam, meaning 'light of the kingdom', got its name in May 1987 from the king at the opening ceremony on the king's 60th birthday. Before that day it was called the "Cheow Lan Project". It was designed as a multi-purpose project for power generation, flood control, irrigation, and fishery. In 1982, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) started construction of the dam by diverting the Klong Saeng River. It took about one year to completely flood the 185 square kilometres (71 sq mi) basin. To flood this large area, 385 families of Ban Chiew Lan village were resettled. Rubber and other farming opportunities such as poultry, fruit orchards, vegetable farming, and reservoir fisheries were introduced together with the needed training programs and credit facilities to sustain farmers' incomes. Each family received 19 rai (7.2 acres) of rubber plantation as well as one rai (0.39 acres) for their dwelling. As part of the compensation, the resettled people received 1,000 baht monthly per family. Resettlement drove the creation of basic public infrastructure, water supply systems, and public buildings such as schools, police station, medical center, and community hall—all built by the Thai government. A resettlement of animals took place by boat and helicopter to prevent them from drowning or starving on new created islands. In 18 months 1,364 animals of 116 species were rescued, but 44 died soon after. Many fish species died due to the stagnant water conditions.