Improving Flood Management Planning in Thailand
Thailand experienced its worst flooding disaster in half a century in 2011, inundating large areas of Bangkok. According to World Bank estimates, this disaster caused US$46.5 billion in damage and reduced Thailand's economic growth potential. It also raised important questions concerning the sustainability of the country's economic development path. In response to public outcry over mismanagement of the disaster and poor planning in the watersheds, the government drafted a Flood Management Master Plan for the Chao Phraya River Basin in Bangkok and peripheral areas. Although the Master Plan identifies ways of strengthening water supply and managing disasters, it focuses mainly on investment in physical infrastructure. This project seeks to improve the Flood Management Master Plan, proposing changes that would complement the physical infrastructure investments. More specifically, researchers at the Thailand Development Research Institute will conduct a cost-benefit analysis of flood protection measures, look at alternative land-use options for the basin, analyze water rights and water access issues, and explore ways to improve irrigation systems. The project will also investigate potential institutional arrangements, analyze policy options, and undertake economic analyses of climate change adaptation. It will then make recommendations to policymakers, including city and regional planners. Research outputs include peer-reviewed publications, technical reports, and policy briefs. Other communications products are planned, including TV programs and a website to disseminate research findings. This project is funded through the Centre's Research Initiative on Water Resources and Adaptation to Climate Change in Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean with funds from the Government of Canada's fast-start financing.