Groundwater Field Survey In Savannakhet, Lao PDR For Training Preparation Under Development Of Lao National Groundwater Capacity Building Program

Groundwater is of vital importance for the livelihood and health of the people since it is often the main source for domestic water. It is also widely used for irrigated agriculture and for industry. This is particularly true in dry regions where surface water is scarce or seasonal, and in rural areas with dispersed populations. Climate change is likely to lead to a greater dependence on groundwater as a cushion against drought and increasing uncertainty in surface water availability. Up to now, indeed, groundwater exploitation in the Lower Mekong region remains varies from limited to very extensive and it is likely to change fast in the short and middle future terms. 

Except Thailand, groundwater management capacity in the Lower Mekong countries is considered critically inadequate, virtually in every aspect. Despite the growing competition in groundwater extraction among industry, agricultural, urbanization and rural development sectors, some countries as Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar still do not have an institutional capacity at central and decentralized levels to perform the key management roles, i.e. groundwater assessment, monitoring, and regulating, and borehole drilling. Not to mention the development of individual technical capacity in this field. 

Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) - Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership (SIP) implemented by Pact, in partnership with Lao National-World Bank Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Program understand the demands, has organized the first consultation meeting between Laos and Thailand to discuss the needs and necessary details on the development of Lao National Groundwater Capacity Building Program through technical assistance support from Thailand Department of Groundwater Resources in July 2018. The meeting has agreed to start up the program by on-the-job training on existing borehole monitoring and inventory development, groundwater mapping development, and developing lecture series of groundwater management principle to build a long term human resource with National University of Laos. With the proposed pilot study area in Savannakhet Province, a field survey will be organized in early April 2019 in order to design an on-the-job training program in which will be held by May 2019. 

Objectives and expected outputs

  1. To organize and help facilitate the first official groundwater field survey in Savannakhet, Lao PDR between Laos and Thailand representatives in order to prepare upcoming on-the-job training under the development of Lao National Groundwater Capacity Building Program.
  2. To survey and mapping groundwater resources data in Laos by exchanging knowledge and experience between Laos and Thailand representatives under the development of Lao National Groundwater Capacity Building Program.
  3. To set an on-the-job training plan for the development of Lao National Groundwater Capacity Building Program, in cooperation with Laos and Thailand, Lao National-World Bank Mekong IWRM Program, and LMI-SIP.

Download GW Field Survey SVK Agenda.

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