A three-day workshop on “Mapping Groundwater Resilience to Climate Change and Human Development in Asian Cities” was successfully concluded on 7 August 2019 at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand. The workshop was organized as one of the activities of the project implemented by Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and financially supported by Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN). The collaborators of this project are Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan, Department of Groundwater Resources (DGR), Thailand, Division of Water Resources Planning and Investigation for the South of Viet Nam, Viet Nam, International Waterlogging and Salinity Research Institute, Pakistan and Center of Research for Environment Energy and Water (CREEW), Nepal. The workshop focused on sharing groundwater environment of the four cities (Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Lahore and Kathmandu) in the changing context and discussion on a draft framework for mapping groundwater resilience to climate change and human development in Asian cities.
Delivering the opening remarks, Prof. Dieter Trau, Dean, School of Engineering and Technology, AIT highlighted the importance of groundwater in major cities of the world. He pointed out that the event is a capacity-building opportunity as well as an avenue to jointly address the issues of climate change and water securities in cities. He also pointed out the problems on the groundwater resources and importance of the workshop to tackle those problems. Dr Dieter thanked Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) for their support to the project. On behalf of APN, Dr Monthip Sriratana Tabucanon, focal person of APN in Thailand, welcomed all participants and provided an overview of the activities of APN. Dr Monthip ended her remarks highlighting the importance of assessing the resiliency of groundwater to climate change and human development for strategic planning and management of water resources in urban areas. The workshop also included a keynote speech ‘Improving Groundwater Governance for Water Security’ delivered by Prof. Mukund S. Babel, Professor, AIT, Thailand. In his speech, he stressed the fact of uniqueness of groundwater, groundwater governance diagnostic analysis, and groundwater to be included in water security assessments.
The first day (5 August) of the workshop witnessed a technical session consisting of presentations on climate change and land-use change impact on groundwater resources. The areas covered modelling and non-modelling approach of assessing the impact of climate change and land-use change on groundwater resources. The second technical session witnessed the country delegates from Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal and Pakistan delivering their presentation on groundwater environment in the project cities in the context of climate change and land-use change.
The second day (6 August) of the workshop started with an introductory presentation from Dr Sangam Shrestha followed by a methodological presentation from Mr Sanjiv Neupane and Dr S. Mohana Sundaram on the framework for mapping groundwater resilience to climate change and human development. The group dialogue also includes discussion on the data requirement and availability in all Asian cities to carry out the methodology.
The third day (7 August) of the workshop consisted of a visit to Department of Groundwater Resources (DGR), Thailand, where the participants witnessed the presentations on groundwater situation of Thailand and Thailand Groundwater Monitoring System (TGMS) followed by the field visit to groundwater and land subsidence monitoring wells at Chatuchak Park, Bangkok to learn about groundwater monitoring, land subsidence monitoring in Bangkok and vicinity.