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KOREA INSTITUTE OF GEOSCIENCE AND MINERAL RESOURCES
THE WORLD'S LEADING RESEARCH
INSTITUTE OF GEOSCIENCE

KIGAM News

Partnership to monitor groundwater in Mekong

  • Writeradmin
  • Date2015-05-29
  • Hit1090
  • File
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The “Workshop on Sustainable Groundwater Management in the Mekong River Basin”, held on 19-20 May in Bangkok, was organized by UNESCO Bangkok in collaboration with the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM), the Coordinating Committee for Geoscience Programmes in East and Southeast Asia (CCOP), and Thailand’s Department of Groundwater Resources.

 

 

Experts from the KIGAM, UNESCO Bangkok, the International Water Management Institute based in Lao PDR, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland as well as national experts from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, agreed to a partnership to further groundwater assessment and safeguarding in the region.

 

Currently there is limited information available on the groundwater resources of Mekong countries-its use, sustainability and quality. Only a few such studies exist, focusing on some local areas within the Mekong Basin.

 

With populations increasing and industrial activity expanding, pressures on groundwater resources are intensifying and the impact of climate change on this resource is likely to be complex and the response may vary across the basin’s catchments. Irrigation requirements for dry season crops are likely to increase in hotter climates, further exacerbating the demand on groundwater resources.

 

Effective water policy to deal with these multiple variables requires a base of evidence and accurate assessments of resources that are sorely lacking in the sub-region, as national experts made clear during presentations on the groundwater resources in their countries at the workshop.

 

Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar have limited information available on groundwater resources and lack any mechanisms to regularly monitor groundwater for quality or quantity. Thailand and Viet Nam, meanwhile, have adequate monitoring data at the national level. To address this dearth of information on groundwater and encourage collaboration in its management, a proposal was made during the workshop for the creation of a groundwater monitoring network and to provide technical support to countries in needs of developing sustainable management plans for this resource.

 

 

Through this new partnership KIGAM, UNESCO and CCOP will prepare a proposal for increased capacity-building to approach groundwater assessment and management in an integrated manner for more effective resource management as well as to build institutional capacity to implement best practices in this regard.


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