Need Assessment in Yom River Basin, Phrae Province on 4 October 2019
The Office on National Water Resources (ONWR), the appointed River Basin Committee (RBC) Secretariat and the Thai-German Climate Programme – Water (TGCP-Water) jointly organised Capacity Needs Assessments sessions with the 22 River Basin Secretariats in Bangkok and the members of the Yom River Basin Committee in Phrae and Sakaekrang River Basin Committees in Uthaithani provinces. The Yom and Sakaekrang are the two pilot sites under TGCP-Water where work is being undertaken to integrate climate information and ecosystem-based solutions into the River Basin Master Plans (RBMPs).
Results indicated that the RBCs need to acquire in-depth knowledge about climate change adaptation. Geographical and climate prediction data are also among prioritised concerns. Communication techniques, coordination skills, stakeholder management and knowledge of climate funding sources were also mentioned.
“Along the Yom River, people are fighting for water. The best way to resolve the problem is for us, the River Basin Committee (RBC), to have data from beyond our frontyard, for example, knowing the overall capacity of the Yom River and how much water is needed from up to downstream. Then, we can talk to people and mediate the disputes,” said Provost Vijitra Dhammanitade, Sukhothai RBC member, during the brainstorming session in Phrae Province.
ONWR and TGCP-Water will use the results of the capacity need assessments as a basis to identify and develop capacity development strategies in 2020.
With the new Water Resources Act that came into force in early 2019, the role of the River Basin Committees (RBCs) was considerably strengthened. The RBCs are mandated to draft the River Basin Master Plan (RBMP), the key planning documents at river basin scale. In addition, the Committees have to manage water resources at the river basin level, mediate conflicts, act as the coordinator for communities, and promote water resources management progress to the public at the river basins.