“From the Mountains … to the Sea” Adopting the King’s Philosophy for Sustainable Water Management
Publish On 18, May 2018 | “From the Mountains … to the Sea” Adopting the King’s Philosophy for Sustainable Water Management
Aimed at encouraging communities to implement appropriate water management as well as fostering participation and self-reliance, “From the Mountains to the Sea” Water Conservation Project by SCG has adopted His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s water management approaches as guidance in creating water management models tailored to each location. By creating an accurate understanding of water management in their own areas and fostering a sense of ownership towards their water resources, the project has not only contributed to environmental conservation but has also tangibly enhanced the quality of life of people in the communities.
Creating a stream of sustainability with check dams
SCG has collaborated with local communities, volunteers, governmental agencies, and private organizations to construct check dams in upstream areas to restore balance to the ecosystem, and in so doing, it has successfully solved drought and flood problems. Beginning in Lampang and later expanding to the remaining regions of the country, this project has installed over 75,500 check dams and has been joined by over 87,000 participants. The initiative has not only reduced wildfires and revitalized forests but also strengthened local communities, enabling them to earn livelihood from their forests.
SCG has also invited community leaders around its plants and students to exchange water management ideas and construct check dams in order to pass on experience to the next generations.
Restoring smiles to the locals with “Kaem Ling”
In midstream areas, Kaem Ling (monkey’s cheeks), detention basins initiated by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, have been constructed and linked to existing canal systems and natural water resources in order to combat water shortage and ensure sufficient water supplies for agriculture. An example is the 100,000-cbm. Nong Pong Kaem Ling in Lampang, which can irrigate 500 rai of farmland across five communities.
The company has also cooperated with Utokapat Foundation under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King in developing water management models for Northeastern Thailand in accordance with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s initiatives. The project has successfully increased the total capacity of agricultural water reservoirs by 8,640,000 cbm., sufficient for 36,500 rai of farmlands and generating an annual income of 200,000 baht per rai.
Downstream: Local fisheries
Restoring abundance to the sea with “fish homes”
In downstream areas, the Company has restored coastal eco-systems with fish homes made from PE 100 pipes, which are placed in the sea along the eastern seashore to serve as nurseries for young fish and shelters for other marine life. Over the past five years, the project has collaborated with 29 local fishery groups and installed over 1,200 fish homes, which have restored over 120 marine species to the sea of Rayong and Chon Buri as well as given a sustainable means of livelihood to local fishermen. This initiative will be expanded to coastal communities in the South of Thailand as well.
Samak Ornlaor, Head of Hard Saeng Ngern Small Fishery Group in Rayong, said: “Shared learning has helped foster environmental conscience and love for our hometown. Through this process, we have restored abundance to our resources and brought back wildlife. We have earned for ourselves a sustainable way of life.”
After over 10 years of dedication to this project, SCG has witnessed that water management approaches guided by the initiatives of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej can revitalize ecosystems, benefit agriculture, and strengthen communities. By linking upstream, midstream, and downstream communities, the project has enhanced the quality of life of the locals as well as their livelihood and self-sufficiency, which will inspire younger generations to continue the efforts and eventually lead Thailand towards true sustainability.
From the mountains to the sea, the stream of sustainability will one day flow across the entire country.
“This evident success is owed to a water management approach that encompasses the entire stream, from the source right down to the end. By applying the ideas of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, an unbroken chain of water management is formed, creating a sustainable balance for Thailand.
– Dr.Royol Chitradon, Advisor to the Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute (Public Organization)
“Today, I have witnessed the power of communities across every region, all united in their dedication to water conservation and management to ensure the robustness of upstream forests and their ability to keep producing water for downstream areas.”
– Mr. Prasong Keawboonpan. Environmentalist (Senior Professional Level) and acting-Director of the Natural Resources and Environment Office of Lampang
“Water conservation from the mountains to the sea encapsulates the relationship between water and forests. Without forests, there would be no water.”
– Young Raknam Group