Natural Resources and Ecosystem Services
First regional workshop

Adapting groundwater of Asian cities to climate change: bridging the science and policy interface

The First Regional Workshop on “Adapting groundwater of Asian cities to climate change: bridging the science and policy interface” was successfully completed on 13-14 December 2016 at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). The event was supported by the Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research, and the workshop was jointly organised by AIT and IGES in collaboration with Department of Groundwater Resources (DGR), Thailand, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), Viet Nam, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Pakistan and University of Brawijaya (UB), Indonesia.

The two-day workshop highlighted the need for strengthening science and policy to conserve groundwater and minimise its vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, President of AIT highlighted the important role of groundwater in major cities of the world and pointed out that the event is a capacity building opportunity as well as an avenue to jointly address the issues of climate change and water security in cities. Dr. Jariya Boonjawaat, Member of Scientific Planning Group of APN underlined the analogy between groundwater and water in the human body – both unseen yet key to the sustainability of the corresponding systems. Dr. Jayakumar Ramasamy, Chief, Natural Science Sector, UNESCO, Bangkok Office, in his keynote speech “Overview of Climate Change and Groundwater Resources”, stressed that groundwater has great potential to increase water security in cities in the context of climatic and non-climatic changes with a special focus on physical impacts, health well-being, affordability and availability.

The IGES presentation stressed the indispensability of groundwater for overcoming quantity and quality-related constraints for fulfilling Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) requirements and for achieving the WASH related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Other presentations covered important issues about the impact of climate change on groundwater resources in the Mekong Delta, Viet Nam, aquifers in Thailand, and in the Kathmandu Valley. Following these presentations, experts from participating cities (Bangdung-Indonesia, Bangkok-Thailand, Ho Chi Minh-Viet Nam and Lahore-Pakistan) presented on the impacts of climate change on groundwater in their respective cities. Next, the group discussed the preliminary framework of the Groundwater Vulnerability Index from climate change based on the exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity components. Dr. Sangam Shrestha, Associate Professor from AIT, thanked all the participants and sponsors for making the event successful and expressed his hope that the outcome of the workshop would contribute to strengthening future collaboration.

A follow-up second regional workshop is planned for 2017, among others, to discuss the findings from participating cities and finalise the framework of Groundwater Vulnerability Index.

Date 13-14 December 2016
Venue Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand
Organisers Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
Asian Institute of Technology (AIT)
Supporter Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research
Collaborators Department of Groundwater Resources (DGR), Thailand
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), Viet Nam
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Pakistan
University of Brawijaya (UB), Indonesia
Language English
Number of Participants Approx. 60
Programme PDF (43KB)
Related Link

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