[Thailand] ENRICH: ENhancing ResIlienCe to future Hydro-meteorological extremes in the Mun river basin in Northeast of Thailand

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Engineering

Abstract

Mun river basin in Northeast Thailand is a prime example of the area impacted by hydro-meteorological hazards. Its specific vulnerability lies in the fact that its upstream parts are more prone to droughts, whereby the downstream part of the basin is a flood risk zone. About 80 to 90% of rice cultivation area in the Mun river basin is rain-fed. Rainfall in the study area is highly erratic both in space and time even though the annual average amount is near to the norm of Thailand. This unevenness has serious effects on rice production, living conditions and income of farmers who are the main population in the region.
ENRICH will bring together expertise and experience from UK and Thailand in the areas of climate variability and climate change, floods and drought modelling and water resources management. The ultimate aim of this project is to establish a strong collaboration and exchange of knowledge between the University of Exeter and AIT, to develop innovative integrated solutions to address the pressing problem of hydro-meteorological extremes and adaptation strategies and measures in the Mun river basin.
The proposed project will address the following research questions:
- What are the main environmental drivers affecting the meteorological and climate variability and change in Northeast of Thailand?
- What are possible hydro-meteorological scenarios and extremes in future in the study area? What is the level of confidence that the projected changes can be attributed to environmental and climate changes?
- What are the expected changes in hydro-meteorological hazards and risks due to future climatic extremes?
- What are the possible and plausible adaptation strategies and measures to improve climate resilience in the study basin?
In line with the recent policy and planning of the Royal Irrigation Department and Department of Water Resources of Thailand, this study will investigate drought hazard due to future climate change, and its impacts on vulnerability and risk in the study area. Furthermore, analysis on current adaptive measures and recommendation for further improvement to cope with future climate change will be produced.
The proposed two and a half year research programme will be realized through four integrated Work Packages (WPs):
WP1 Land use changes
WP2 Climate variability and climate change
WP3 Hydrometeorological extremes
WP4 Adaptation strategies based on the synthesis of results
The ENRICH team will work closely with the Thai Department of Water Resources and the Royal Irrigation Department, from the project inception workshop, through data acquisition and analysis and finally during the dissemination phase, so that the outputs can be taken up.
Two public participation meetings will be organised in the study area with local stakeholders - farmers, industries, local line agencies at provincial/district levels etc. - to understand the hydro-meteorological hazards related issues (at the start of the project), and discuss adaptation measures (towards the end of the project while developing the adaptation strategies and measures) with them.
Whilst ENRICH is a stand-alone initiative that can be completed independently, from an early stage it will seek cooperation with other projects funded within this programme to identify the potential for synergies through sharing data and expertise.

Planned Impact

The key impact of ENRICH will be in the enhanced resilience to drought in the Mun river basin. This will be achieved through research and related activities that will ensure that research results are taken up by the local stakeholders.
We will hold workshops in Thailand at the start of the project, half way through the project and at the end. These three events will have different concept, schedule and aims. The first one will inform the project via stakeholders' input to specifying the focus of our work. Relevant stakeholders will be identified by local project partners (DWR, RID) and will include representatives of the agricultural sector, water managers and policy makers. With their permission, stakeholders attending the first workshop will be added to a mailing list so that they can receive updates about the project as it progresses. The second one will be a progress meeting and the last one will be the main dissemination event that will provide biggest impact.
The ENRICH web page will be established as the landing portal providing all information and research outcomes related to the project. Relevant social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.) will be created and integrated into the website to interact with the public, and will be linked with Exeter and AIT institutional social media communications. We will produce quarterly newsletters to inform stakeholders, the steering committee, consulting companies, modelling software developers and the public the latest research outcomes from ENRICH. We will also work with our universities' press offices to issue press releases about key SPIRE publications and to facilitate media interviews, raising public awareness of our work.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description STAR - ENRICH Integration Activity
Amount £40,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S002901 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Description AIT - Asian institute of knowledgeably - ENRICH project 
Organisation Asian Institute of Technology
Country Thailand 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Working with AIT on the ENRICH (ENhancing ResIlienCe to future Hydro-meteorological extremes in the Mun river basin in Northeast of Thailand) project. Results from this research will contribute to WP1 Land use changes and WP4 Adaptation strategies of the project.
Collaborator Contribution Open access to data available, fieldwork opportunities to interact with local stakeholders.
Impact 1. Potential journal article on findings/methods/scenarios - i.e using an optimisation tool to predict future land use. - Has not been finalised yet 2. Attendance of HIC 2020 "Impact of land use change on hydrological regimes: optimising land use solutions to combat drought risk"
Start Year 2018
 
Description Inception Workshop of the ENRICH 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The inception workshop of the research project "Enhancing resilience to future hydro-meteorological extremes in the Mun river basin in Northeast of Thailand (ENRICH)" was carried out to inform all relevant stakeholders and research community about the project. The objectives of the workshop were to disseminate overall objectives of the project to the stakeholders, receive feedbacks on most critical issues related to overall objectives and identify the opportunities for synergies with other on-going researches in the area. The workshop has provided an opportunity to receive feedback on each work package (related to land-use change, climate change, hydro-meteorological extremes, adaptation measures) of the project from stakeholders, experts and research community, identify potential sources of data and information, identify key stakeholders and explore possibility of synergies with other on-going researches in the area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Joint Mid-term Science and Stakeholder workshop of the ENRICH and STAR Projects 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The joint workshop between ENRICH ('ENhancing ResIlienCe to future Hydro-meteorological extremes in the Mun river basin in Northeast of Thailand') and STAR ('Strengthening Thailand's Agricultural drought Resilience') was organized on 16 January, 2020. The ENRICH project develops and analyses adaptation measures in the Mun basin (Thailand) to enable sustainable management of water resources and improve water security in the coming decades. In the STAR project, the Ping catchment (Thailand) is selected because of its agricultural importance (for both rain-fed and irrigated cropping systems) and susceptibility to drought. There are therefore clear benefits to synthesizing and communicating drought research insights, within a stakeholder-led framework, from these complementary ENRICH and STAR projects in Thailand to support increased preparedness, enhanced resilience to hydro-meteorological hazards and improved agricultural livelihoods. The main objectives of the workshop was to share the on-going research activities and progress of each project and preliminary cross-project and cross river basin learning and identify opportunities and synergies for collaboration in terms of data exchange, knowledge and experience sharing etc. for achieving the project goals. The workshop has provided opportunities to receive feedback and suggestions to further improve the results of both projects as well as, improved collective understanding of the benefits from ENRICH and STAR projects to facilitate subsequent integration of the projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.facebook.com/AITasia/photos/pcb.10157847580134709/10157847578194709/?type=3&theater
 
Description Stakeholder workshop (Jan 2020, Feb 2019, March 2019) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Stakeholder workshops - discussing current outputs & results / future ideas for research / group work and question time / networking process
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020