Project Name: Consultancy Services for Water Resource Management and Community Participation on Irrigation Project
Company Name: Southeast Asia Technology Co. Ltd.
Project Location: Amphoe Nong Ruea, Khon Khen Province, Thailand
Project Owner: Royal Irrigation Department
Associates: ROGE and Associates Co. Ltd., DHARA Consultants Co. Ltd.
Project Cost: 100,000,000 Baht
Project Description: This project is to develop the usage of limited water resource in agriculture at full efficiency or to try to minimize the water loss from the use of open water supply system. In 2000, Royal Irrigation Department started 3 irrigation water supply pipe projects in Ban Nonkhong, Ban Donkok and Ban Kudkan, Amphoe Nong Ruea, Khon Khen Province.
The water has been supplied to the agricultural areas since completion of the projects in 2002. But the water use was not at its full capacity due to deterioration of equipment and lack of good maintenance as well as lack of participation by local farmers. Therefore, Royal Irrigation Department needs to hire consultants to remedy the water management problems within the scope of works of studying methods for water distribution and maintenance including operational concept for the joint participation of farmers in the project management.
Problems and Obstacles: The Consultants found that the combined problems and obstacles of 3 water supply pipe system projects are reduction in efficiency of water supply pipes from long use, lack of good maintenance of various equipment, water loss by leakage, and clogging of water pipes by deposits inside causing them unable to distribute sufficiently to the agricultural areas as necessary.
Problems Mitigation: Mitigation improvement and repairing of various components for water pumping, distribution and the beneficial use of water include improving the pumping station including those in the 3 projects by enabling operation of 2 pumps together for pumping higher water volume to be able to distribute sufficiently to the agricultural areas, Repairing the damaged water supply pipes system for continued use in water supply and experimenting on water distribution according to the real water usage for recommending the improved mitigation guideline.
Remedies in community participation by letting the farmers participate in the water
management are: Community participation in repairing of various damaged equipment, learning and acknowledging the potential of the project for future application; participation in training and study on the real state of cultivation of agriculture in other areas such as the water supply and maintenance of Nam Oun, Sakonnakhon Province by the Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Khen University; participation in modified demonstration of self-cultivation for tomato, corn and grains etc. at which 18 households participated and continued to 23 demonstration classes; participation in changing the rice field to sugar cane growing area for private factory in the 3 project areas which has more than 1,565 rai or about 36.42 % of the irrigation area; and participation of farms decided to grow vegetables and other plants during dry season under the assurance of the water supply and suggestion on correct water use for cultivation, participated by more than 30 households. Farmers have to share payment for electricity used for water pumping to the officials through the water use organization.
Benefits gained: After the mitigation project of the irrigation water supply pipe system project, the farmers in the project areas will understand and see the benefits of the project development and will have vision on the more beneficial use of water resources attracting more future local farmers’ interest and participation despite the cultivation changes, becoming members of the water use organization helping in the maintenance of various equipment for continued use.