Plans and Promises at the Second Asia-Pacific Water Summit

 | Fri 17 May 2013 16:15 ICT

According to water expert Apichart Anukul-ampai, head of a subcommittee under the Water and Flood Management Committee (WFMC), the second Asia-Pacific Water Summit will give the Thail government a chance to show the rest of the world that it has the necessary expertise to effectively handle water and flood management.

An article published today in the Bangkok Post explained Apichart’s belief that Thailand plans to become a regional centre for information sharing and problem solving when it comes to water-related issues.

At a technical workshop alongside Chiang Mai’s Water Summit, which began on Tuesday, 14 May despite protests against the government’s 350 billion baht water management plan, Apichart spoke about the government wants to focus is on the importance of flood management and investment projects to help cope with water-related problems, sharing lessons learned from the floods of 2011 and discussing ways to prevent such disasters from happening in the future.

The summit is expected to provide a place for the over 1,300 scientists and water management and policy planning experts in attendance to both share their experiences and build their information-sharing network.

Yesterday, the attendees discussed “Water Security and Water-Related Disaster Challenges: Leadership and Commitment”, including water security for food, the economy, urban communities, the environment and household consumption, as well as the risks and challenges that come from water-related disasters and how to handle them.

Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi headed the workshop, and later noted that the workshop’s results will be presented at a meeting between attending leaders of Asian-Pacific countries and published within two months so that they can be used as guidelines for water management throughout the region.

Some of the countries in attendance used the opportunity to share new forms of technology that they hope will help solve specific water-related problems in the future, such as a new satellite system that South Korea hopes will help regulate dam water release and mitigate issues of flooding.

An interesting flood prevention model was also presented by the Italian-Thai Development (ITD)-PowerChina Joint Venture, one of the four investment groups that have submitted bids for the Thai government’s large water management plan, which will cover 70 percent of the area that flooded in 2011. The government plans to spend about 300 billion baht to solve basin flood problems.


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