Researchers offer fixes for perpetual flooding, drought in Thai-Myanmar border
A joint project to study the river that runs through Thailand and Myanmar has led to proposed measures to tackle the constant problem of flooding and drought.
Results of the research project, “Joint Evaluation of Thailand and Myanmar on Flooding and Drought for the Management of Cross-Border Water Resource”, were presented at Le Meridien hotel in Chiang Rai on Friday.
The study focused on the Sai-Ruak River, a natural border between Thailand and Myanmar, which originates in Myanmar and flows past Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district before emptying in the Mekong River in the Golden Triangle area in the province’s Chiang Saen district.
The area is often hit by severe flooding in the rainy season and by drought in the dry season, causing adverse impacts on the residential and economic zones on both sides of the border.
Surasee Kittimonthon, secretary-general of the Office of the National Water Resources, presided over the presentation.
The event was also attended by Mae Fah Luang University president Chayaporn Wattanasiri, representatives from the Chinese Embassy and Myanmar’s Foreign Ministry as well as from relevant Thai and Myanmar agencies.
Surasee said the study led to the development of a warning system and a model on water management, as well as recommendations on how to deal with flooding and drought in the area.
All those findings would form a basis for future efforts to solve the dual problem in the border areas between the two countries, he added.
“The goal is to achieve sustainable management of the water resource for the development of economy, society and the environment in the future,” Surasee said.
The research project, conducted between 2020 and 2021, was funded by China as part of a Mekong-Lancang Cooperation special grant worth 2.45 million yuan (about 12 million baht).
The joint study has led to the development of a bilingual mobile application in Thai and Burmese providing updates on the water situation in the area. A warning system covering the river basin has also been developed, in addition to a model for water resource management, and water-management cooperation between local communities and agencies.