BANGKOK, THAILAND – 2-3 July 2014: ICEM and ADB host the National Workshop on Strengthening Integrated Water and Flood Management Implementation in Thailand

On July 2nd and 3rd 2014, ICEM and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) hosted the National Workshop on Strengthening Integrated Water and Flood Management Implementation (IWRM) in Thailand at the Eastin Grand Sathorn Hotel in Bangkok. The workshop was held to promote awareness and consensus on the issues, tools and processes for improving water resource management in Thailand’s river basins, in particular flood and drought prevention and mitigation and water pollution control.

Over the two days, representatives and key personnel from major water management agencies at the national and provincial level, as well as international organisations and the private sector collaboratively discussed and worked through the opportunities and obstacles to IWRM in Thailand.

The workshop saw dynamic presentations and panel discussions about the future of water resource planning in Thailand. Key presentations included:

  • The Application of Satellite Monitoring Tools in Water Resource Management
    Anond Snidvongs – Director General of the Geo-informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA)
  • Economic Planning at River Basin Level to Achieve Sustainable Resource Use
    Ladawan Kumpa – Deputy Secretary General of the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB)
  • Using Managed Aquifer Recharge
    Sittisak Manyou – Senior Geologist of the Department of Groundwater Resources on Mitigation of Floods, Drought and Groundwater Level Declination in Sukhothai, Phitsanulok and Phichit Provinces
  • How to maintain sustainability in water resources and natural systems while achieving flood and drought protection
    Songtam Suksawang – Director of the Research Division, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP)
Robert Mather, IUCN
IUCN’s Robert Mather addressed the plenary with a colourful analogy of Thailand’s water resources as a giant swimming pool, with each tile of the pool representing a government agency or institute, stakeholder or water user. The “tiles” may come in different shapes, colours and sizes, and as such have many challenges in coordination and organisation. However, his vision for Thailand was a beautiful mosaic that would reconcile Thailand’s shared water resources.

From the agenda:

The workshop promoted cooperative discussion and working sessions between technical specialists on the challenges and opportunities for IWRM in Thailand. This consultative workshop engaged multiple stakeholders at the national and provincial levels including key government agencies involved in the water management sector. The workshop also welcomed participants from NGOs and civil society organisations involved in IWRM in Thailand.

The workshop consisted of presentations from the Project Team and responses from key water resources and environment management agencies, who shared their experiences in implementing integrated water and river basin management in Thailand. Panel sessions involving sector experts allowed for a more detailed cross-section of views and discussion related to important aspects of IWRM in Thailand.

VIPs in Attendance included:

  • Apichat Todilokvech – Phrae Provincial Governor
  • Piti Kaewsalabsri – Sukhothai Vice Provincial Governor
  • Suppachai Thanakhan – Deputy Chief Administrator of the Phrae Provincial Administrative Organisation
  • Robert Mather – Head of Southeast Asia Group IUCN

A full report on the proceedings will be published in the coming weeks.