Here's a link to yesterday's Bangkok Post Outlook section article on a klong community at Wat Sai. Building a watergate had almost destroyed their traditional way of life. I suspect it wasn't so much the watergate as the bureaucratic control of the opening and closing of the gate. The men at the various gates do not have the authority to do this without the say so of someone behind a desk working office hours.
We see it over on this side of Bangkok also. At times when water could be let through to the river at low tide it isn't and areas upstream are flooding. Even on my own housing estate the pumps should be used to lower the lake levels before the rains start rather than after the roads are flooded. Many government departments are decentralising and maybe the Irrigation Department needs to as well. If the watergate workers became more like English lock-keepers and could control their gates it would be better. We might even get some klong tourism like they do in England with the narrow boat tours.