A three-day workshop on “Mapping groundwater resilience to climate change and human development in Asian cities” was successfully completed on 7 August 2019 at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand. The workshop was one of the activities of the project implemented by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and sponsored by the Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN). The collaborators are Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan, Department of Groundwater Resources (DGR), Thailand, Division of Water Resources Planning and Investigation for the South of Vietnam, Vietnam, International Waterlogging and Salinity Research Institute, Pakistan and Center of Research for Environment Energy and Water (CREEW), Nepal. The workshop focused on sharing groundwater environment of the four cities in the changing context and discussion on the draft framework for mapping groundwater resilience to climate change and human development in Asian cities.
All the participants of the workshop posing for group photo in War Room of Department of Groundwater Resource, Thailand
Delivering the opening remarks, Prof. Dieter Trau, Dean, School of Engineering and Technology, AIT highlighted the important role of groundwater in major cities of the world. He pointed out that the event is a capacity-building opportunity as well as an avenue to jointly address the issues of climate change and water securities in cities. He also pointed out the problems on the groundwater resources and importance of the workshop to tackle those problems. Dr Dieter thanked Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) for their support to the project. On behalf of APN, Dr Monthip Sriratana Tabucanon, Scientific Planning Group of APN welcomed all participants and provided an overview of the activities of APN. Dr Monthip ended her remarks underlining the importance of assessing the resiliency of groundwater to climate change and human development for strategic planning and management of water resources in urban areas. The workshop also included a keynote speech “Improving Groundwater Governance for Water Security” delivered by Prof. Mukund S. Babel, Professor, AIT, Thailand. In his speech, he stressed the fact of uniqueness of groundwater, groundwater governance diagnostic analysis, and groundwater to be included in water security assessments.
Prof. Sangam Shrestha, PI of the project handing over a token of appreciation to Dr Oranuj Lorphensri, Deputy Director-General, Department of Groundwater Resources, Thailand
The first day of the workshop witnessed a technical session consisting of presentations on climate change and land-use change impact on groundwater resources. The areas covered modelling and non-modelling approach of assessing the impact of climate change and land-use change on groundwater resources. The second technical session witnessed the country delegates from Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal and Pakistan delivering their presentation on groundwater environment in the project cities in the context of climate change and land-use change.
The second day, which marked the conclusion of the workshop, saw an introductory presentation from Dr. Sangam Shrestha followed by methodological presentation from Mr. Sanjiv Neupane and Dr. S. Mohana Sundaram on the framework for mapping groundwater resilience to climate change and human development which acted as a starter for the following group discussion on finalizing the methodology of the framework. The group dialogue also includes discussion on the data requirement and availability in all Asian cities to carry out the methodology. After summarizing the discussion, Dr. Sangam Shrestha, PI of the project, thanked all the participants and sponsors for making the event successful and expressed his hope that the outcome of the workshop would help the steady progress of the project as well as contribute towards strengthening future collaboration.
The third day of the workshop consisted of a visit to Department of Groundwater Resources (DGR), Thailand, where the participants witnessed the presentations on groundwater situation of Thailand and Thailand Groundwater Monitoring System (TGMS). Followed by that field visit to groundwater and land subsidence monitoring wells at Chatuchak Park, Bangkok to learn about groundwater and land subsidence monitoring in Bangkok was done.