WU’s Water Security Collaboration of local, reginal and global Levels to Make the Most of Water's Benefits for Humans and Ecosystems
Walailak University has been working for the development of water security for years at all levels. The university has many experts and researchers in water study who have been working with local, regional, and national government organizations. In addition, WU always expands its collaboration to the international level working with NGOs or international organizations.
The Platform for Agricultural Water Management in Community with Mobile Cloud Computing: Preventing Drought Caused by Climate Change
Climate change has affected the environment in Don Tako subdistrict for years, especially drought. Drought is the most challenging disaster for the local people in the subdistrict because most of them are agriculturists who use water as the most important element in their careers. It has reduced water availability for farms and ranches, resulting in significant negative direct economic impacts for those agriculturists. They did not have any tools or bodies of knowledge to tackle the problem.
In 2022, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ajalawit Chantaveerod, a member of the Center of Excellence in Sustainable Disaster Management at Walailak University, and his research team established the local partnership with the Agricultural Research Development Agency (ARDA), a government organization of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, to conduct an educational outreach program titled “The Platform for Agricultural Water Management in Community with Mobile Cloud Computing”. The project has been conducted with the purpose of providing a modernized toolkit for the local agriculturists in Don Tako subdistrict to sustainably manage water resources for agriculture that can efficiently tackle drought disasters in the subdistrict.
Walailak University organized meetings and workshops to discuss with all the local agriculturists to implement the understanding and teach them to use the platform throughout the period of the project implementation. This project was freely open to all in which everyone could participate. The attendees included local agriculturists, local people, local government officers, students, and general people who were interested in the project.
The platform served as an analyzer of the water budget and demand for each type of agricultural field by using the information with cloud computing. The economic crops that the agriculturists in the subdistricts planted were durian, mangosteen, rambutan, rubber tree, longkong, oil palm, and others. These crops needed the water demand in different volumes, which caused difficulties for the agriculturists to measure the appropriate volume. The agriculturists could utilize the platform by using the information in the database to measure the appropriate volume of water for each crash crop. The database on the appropriate volume of water for agriculture was developed by WU researchers.
In order to cope with drought disasters, WU developed a mathematical model in the platform for analyzing water flow paths and the size of water catchment areas in agricultural fields and plantation areas. The water resource was from the Ai Khiao watershed, administered by the Irrigation Office 15 of Nakhon Si Thammarat. The watershed was the main water resource for those agriculturists to tackle drought disasters. The agriculturists could store water for their corps with a sufficient volume of water to implement their agricultural careers. Besides the purpose of water security, the project aimed to improve food security in the subdistrict because it has been one of the predominant agricultural subdistricts in Nakhon Si Thammarat. The research team plans to develop the platform to expand to other subdistricts in the province, as it is a tool that can efficiently cope with drought disasters.
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.
1.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.
2.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.
3.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.
For Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Asst. Prof. Dr. Pakorn Ditthakit and the members of the Nakhon Si Thammarat Water Resource Management Sub-Committee were responsible for setting strategic plans for water security management for subdistricts in the province. Nakhon Si Thammarat is one of the predominant agricultural provinces in Thailand in which water resource plays a pivotal role in agriculture.
In addition, Asst. Prof. Dr. Pakorn Ditthakit as a member of the Basin Management Committee on the Southern Upper East Coast of Thailand was responsible for setting strategic plans for water security management in the Southern Upper East Coast of Thailand. The committee partnered with provincial government organizations in Surat Thani, Chumphon, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and others to exchange ideas and perspectives to improve sources of water.
The Water Resource Management Sub-Committee in the Southern Region of Thailand was responsible for setting national strategic plans for water security working with other sub-committees in other regions across Thailand. The sub-committee fell under the umbrella of the Office of the National Water Resources. The office used the information from all committees to present to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to set guidelines and policies for water security.
Global Cooperation for Water Security: WU Working with GIZ to Tackle Water Crisis through Living Weirs
For global collaboration, Walailak University cooperated with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on the program “TGCP-Water”. The TGCP-Water is one of five components of the Thai-German Climate Programme (TGCP) that fostered cooperation across five key sectors (climate policy, agriculture, energy, waste management, and water) with a budget of 650 million THB supported by the IKI funding line of the German government and implemented by GIZ over five years (2018–2022). The role of Walailak University was to develop and create an analysis and tracking model of living weirs’ impacts and benefits, natural resource conservation, and climate change.
In 2022, Walailak University, through its researchers, experts, and lecturers, participated in the meeting to share experiences with representatives of all organizations working with GIZ and presented the project results on the living weir construction to the representatives of international organizations from Germany and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals