Free Educational Outreach Programs for Sustainable Water Management in Local Communities
The Living Weirs M & E Project
Walailak University always provides free educational opportunities for local community to learn about good water management. In 2022, Walailak University provided an outreach project called “The Living Weirs M and E.” The project aimed to create weirs to tackle the impacts of climate change in four subdistricts in Thung Song district, Nakhon Si Thammarat. The subdistricts included Na Mai Phai, Nong Hong, Na Luang Sen, and Kuan Krod. The project was organized for the local people in the communities without any costs, as assisting local communities is one of WU’s missions. More importantly, this project was implemented under the collaboration of Walailak University, Prince of Songkhla University, and GIZ. Every step of the project implementation involved all local communities exchanging ideas and perspectives and acknowledging the same goals for improving their livelihoods to fight droughts and create the sustainability of water resources.
Most of the local people in the subdistricts were agriculturists. Living weirs were one of the best solutions to tackle droughts caused by climate change, which improved groundwater recharge and served as main or alternative water sources for agriculture or living.
The Achievement Evaluation in Developing Water Sources Under the Royal-Initiated Pak Phanang River Basin Development Project
Walailak University has been organizing educational outreach for the local communities in the Pak Phanang River Basin, Pak Phanang district, Nakhon Si Thammarat. In 2022, WU organized the project titled “Achievement Evaluation in Developing Water Sources Under the Royal-Initiated Pak Phanang River Basin Development Project”. The project aimed to develop guidelines for basin management and water quality studies.
The springhead of the basin is the Nakhon Si Thammarat Range, which consists of three types of topography, including sloping ground, swam forest, and lowland. The Pak Phanang River is 256 kilometers long, covering 10 districts of Nakhon Si Thammarat, 2 districts of Phatthalung, and 1 district of Songkhla. The total area of the river is 3,100,000,000 square kilometers of which 800,000,000 square meters are rice fields. In the past, Walailak University discovered that the Pak Phanang River Basin was fertile with complicated biological diversity and had become the land of plenty, nurturing the lives of people in the province. Later, the basin faced environmental degradation due to building construction blocking water flow paths and causing long-term waterlogging. In addition, the saline water intrusion problems affected freshwater ecosystems and freshwater aquaculture.
The Achievement Evaluation in Developing Water Sources Under the Royal-Initiated Pak Phanang River Basin Development Project in 2022 was implemented by Walailak University, in which WU researchers organized meetings and invited all relevant stakeholders living in the region of the basin to collaboratively find solutions, analyze water situations, and exchange ideas on basin management. The stakeholders who participated in the meetings were local people, agriculturists, the Irrigation Office 15, the District Agricultural Extension Offices, the members of subdistrict administration organizations in Pak Phanang district, and other local government organizations responsible for water management and irrigation in the district. Another purpose of the meeting is to find a conflict resolution in collaborative water usage toward water security and ecological balance.
WU Partners with Government Organizations for Setting the Strategic Plans for the Development of Water Security
In 2022, Asst. Prof. Dr. Pakorn Ditthakit, an expert and lecturer who specializes in sustainable water resource management and planning at Walailak University, established a partnership with the Office of the National Water Resources to work on water security at local, regional, and national levels. Asst. Prof. Dr. Pakorn Ditthakit was appointed by the Office of National Water Resources as a member of three committees.
- The Water Resource Management Sub-Committee in the Southern Region of Thailand,
The committee is responsible for setting strategic plans and policies for water security management in the entire southern region of Thailand.
- The Basin Management Committee on the Southern Upper East Coast of Thailand
The committee is responsible for setting strategic plans and policies for water security management on the upper-east coast of Thailand.
- The Nakhon Si Thammarat Water Resource Management Sub-Committee
The committee is responsible for water security management for consumption, agriculture, flooding and drought disasters, and other issues based on the context of Nakhon Si Thammarat province.
As a member of those committees, Asst. Prof. Dr. Pakorn Ditthakit collaborated with the relevant government organizations to set policies and guidelines for water security management in each region assigned by the committees. Regarding the collaboration with the Nakhon Si Thammarat Governor’s Office, Walailak University, through Asst. Prof. Dr. Pakorn Ditthakit, was involved in setting the “Nakhon Si Thammarat Province Water Resource Action Plan in the fiscal year 2022.” In addition, Asst. Prof. Dr. Pakorn Ditthakit served as a luminary to assess and suggest recommendations to the Office of the National Water Resources on improving the mobile application to report flooding disasters.
Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals