Please briefly describe the initiative, what issue or challenge it aims to address and specify its objectives. (300 words maximum)
The project is aimed to provide people in non-irrigated areas facing water scarcity with water for agriculture and livelihood throughout the whole year. The Project also increased their household income, ensured stable income, reduced migration to urban areas and improved the quality of life. The project focused on uniting the people to manage limited water resource based on local context so they could conduct their agricultural activities throughout the year and share surplus water to nearby areas. The project has resulted in a participatory mechanism among the public sector, the private sector and the people through sharing of opinions, joint decisions, joint monitoring and evaluations. They have created sustainability by enhancing people’s knowledge on water quantity and water use rates, farm planning and the operation and maintenance of the system. The project has developed into community knowledge centers while establishing local water user groups and promoting marketing. The projects have enabled people to have stable jobs and income, reduced migration to urban communities, solved water scarcity sustainably and reduced the cost of farm electricity due to water pumping into the farmland by using low-cost solar energy.
Please explain how the initiative is linked to the selected category. (100 words maximum)
The projects are in line with category 1 in providing inclusive and equitable services and category 3 in promoting transparency and accountability in government agencies because they solved problems of the people in water scarce areas to receive inclusive and equitable access to water. The Department of Water Resources and local administrative organizations are responsible for project planning, detailed design, creating a participatory mechanism through sharing of opinions, planning, decision making, joint implementation and evaluation according to the principle of “understanding, access and development” in the King’s Philosophy for sustainable development.
a. Please specify which SDGs and target(s) the initiative supports and describe concretely how the initiative has contributed to their implementation. (200 words maximum)
The water distribution system projects in non-irrigated areas are in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 6, which aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, and Target 6.4, which aims to increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity by 2030.
b. Please describe what makes the initiative sustainable in social, economic and environmental terms. (100 words maximum)
Local people in pilot areas have enough water for agriculture during the whole year and have stable jobs and more income. The projects also used solar energy, which is a renewable energy, to reduce cost, conserve the environment and enable the sharing of surplus water to nearby areas.
a. Please explain how the initiative has addressed a significant shortfall in governance, public administration or public service within the context of a given country or region. (200 words maximum)
The water distribution system projects in non-irrigated areas could reduce the miscommunication between the people and the government agencies. The people can have access to the information for local water management, forecasting and preparation for possible events. There was joint water use planning between the people and the public sector to ensure that there is enough water to serve their needs. They could solve water problems in water scarce areas for local communities. The projects created a participatory mechanism among the public sector, the private sector and the people, which enabled knowledge sharing, supported the budget and helped the people in water scarce areas to have continued and sustainable water for agriculture with efficiency and effectiveness according to the expected objectives. The projects have created channels for disseminating information, so water user groups can have easy and inclusive access to the information such as through the LINE application. Officers were assigned to take care of their areas and communicate with local people to establish the cooperation.
b. Please describe how your initiative addresses gender inequality in the country context. (100 words maximum)
The projects could create jobs and stable income for local people. Families members who are of working age could stay in their community. In addition, 50% of water user groups in the project areas, who are women and part of them are the elderly, can farm to earn some income for their families. This resulted in the security of the family institution.
c. Please describe who the target group(s) were, and explain how the initiative improved outcomes for these target groups. (200 words maximum)
The water user groups in the projects have more than enough income for their livelihood. There is enough water to serve their needs and the migration to urban communities has reduced. Parents can take care of their children, which resulted in strengthened family institution.
a. Please describe how the initiative was implemented including key developments and steps, monitoring and evaluation activities, and the chronology. (300 words)
The water distribution system projects in non-irrigated areas were implemented through the Pracharat or public, private and people partnership, which consisted of group leaders, network leaders, community leaders and local administrative organizations who participated in the project. They participated in the public hearing process before building a water source and a water distribution system and the design of pipe system. Water user groups were established, including managing committees, regulations and rules, funds for the management and maintenance of equipment, and farm planning. The public sector supported the information for local water management, organized capacity building activities, developing areas for study visits, promoting marketing and areas for selling agricultural products, sharing lessons learned, and monitoring and evaluating the projects systematically. This increased the income of farmer groups. The projects can be implemented in other communities in the country, which will promote the country as a global food hub.
b. Please clearly explain the obstacles encountered and how they were overcome. (100 words)
The obstacles during the project implementation are to find ways to increase water supply to be sufficient for the local needs. In addition to developing a water source, it is necessary to raise awareness and understanding within the water user groups to manage limited water resources, obey the rules, and pay water fees according to the group’s regulation. This includes providing knowledge on local water management and farm planning to select suitable plants according to the market mechanism.
a. Please explain in what ways the initiative is innovative in the context of your country or region. (100 words maximum)
The water distribution system projects in non-irrigated areas are an innovation which uses solar energy as a source of power or for delivering water utilizing gravitational forces to distribute water to agricultural plots in the areas which are far from water sources. The projects reduce electricity cost by pumping water into agricultural plots and help establish water user groups to manage limited water. The funds are also set up for the community to manage water themselves efficiently and sustainably.
b. Please describe, if relevant, how the initiative drew inspiration from successful initiative in other regions, countries and localities. (100 words maximum)
The project, which was initiated in 2016, started with building a solar-powered water distribution system for the delivery of water with gravitational force to agricultural plots. The project promoted the establishment of water user groups and managing committees for sustainability, since they could brainstorm, determine the regulations on water use, formulate suitable farm planning according to available water, determine water use period, and set up a fund for the maintenance of equipment. The project has created transparency through the participation of people, local administrative organizations and the Department of Water Resources.
a. Has the initiative been transferred and/or adapted to other contexts (e.g. other cities, countries or regions) to your organization’s knowledge? If yes, please explain where and how. (200 words maximum)
The water distribution system projects in non-irrigated areas were developed as learning centers to create a network for sharing knowledge with other water management networks such as the Huai Kaew Reservoir Conservation Project in Village No. 11, Ban Rom Pho Thong, Mae Faek Sub-district, San Sai District, in Chiang Mai Province; the Nong Luang Conservation Project with a water distribution system in Ban Nong Luang, Village No. 1, Nong Luang Sub-district, Sawang Daen Din District, in Sakon Nakhon Province; the Ban Don Yao Noi Water Distribution Project, in Village No. 6, Wang Hin Sub-district, Non Daeng District, in Nakhon Ratchasima Province; and the Roeng Mai Ngam Conservation Project, in Pra Thai District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province.
b. If not yet transferred/adapted to other contexts, please describe the potential for transferability. (200 words maximum)
as the answer on 7a, On the next step we plan to cooperate project in Conjunctive use of surface and groundwater with Department of Groundwater Resources.
a. What specific resources (i.e. financial, human or others) were used to implement the initiative? (100 words maximum)
The water distribution system projects in non-irrigated areas needed approximately 2 million baht for an area of 16 hectares. The project received the support from the public sector to build the water distribution system, including the installation of solar panels. The Department of Water Resources implemented pilot projects in water scarce areas in the North and the Northeast.
b. Please explain what makes the initiative sustainable over time, in financial and institutional terms. (100 words maximum)
Social dimension: Water user groups were established with managing committees to determine the regulation and rules of water management, formulate farm planning with limited water resource, and establish a fund for maintenance and reparation. In addition, there is collaboration between the government agencies and the private sector in providing assistance, advice and knowledge.
Economic dimension: the projects have increased the income of farmers. People have stable income, which will support the target of the National Strategy of escaping the middle-income trap to becoming a developed country.
Environmental dimension: the project led to a sustainable use of solar power, the reduction of fuel for pumping water into agricultural plots, the reduced production of carbon dioxide, conservation of the environmental and especially the reduction of water usage by promoting drip irrigation among farmers.
a. Was the initiative formally evaluated either internally or externally?
b. Please describe how it was evaluated and by whom? (100 words maximum)
There was an internal evaluation by the Department of Water Resources by collecting data to assess the achievement of the projects according to the expected objectives. An external agency also evaluated the participation aspect of the projects.
c. Please describe the indicators and tools used. (100 words maximum)
The internal indicators were:
1. The percentage of households benefiting from the solar-powered water distribution systems
2. The percentage of achievement in building the capacity of water user groups
3. The level of increased income compared with before implementing the project
4. The achievement of water management to sufficiently fulfill the needs of the project areas
The Office of the Public Sector Development Commission (OPDC) evaluated the project in terms of participation.
d. What were the main findings of the evaluation (e.g. adequacy of resources mobilized for the initiative, quality of implementation and challenges faced, main outcomes, sustainability of the initiative, impacts) and how this information is being used to inform the initiative’s implementation. (200 words maximum)
The result was that 100% of target households have enough water for agriculture throughout the whole year. The regulation and rules on water usage were formulated. The funds were established to collect water fees from farmers. People have knowledge on water management, the maintenance and reparation of equipment, and can share surplus water to nearby areas.
Please describe how the initiative strives to work in an integrated manner within its institutional landscape – for example, how does the initiative work horizontally and/or vertically across different levels of government? (200 words maximum)
The Department of Water Resources collaborated with local administrative organizations to enhance the knowledge and understanding among water user groups and the local private sector to deliver agricultural products for sale. This included determining the rules for water user groups to pay water fees which will be collected into a fund for managing, maintaining and repairing the equipment by themselves.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts emphasis on collaboration, engagement, partnerships, and inclusion. Please describe which stakeholders were engaged in designing, implementing and evaluating the initiative and how this engagement took place. (200 words maximum)
The water distribution system projects in non-irrigated areas highlighted the participation of water user groups to manage water resources by themselves. The roles of the water user committees are: (1) preparation for water use in every season/period, (2) monitoring and supporting water use for agriculture in each season/production cycle, (3) the organization of an annual meeting to inform activities during the past year and formulate an action plan for the following year, and (4) implementing the planned steps and preparations for water use for production in each season.
Please describe the key lessons learned, and how your organization plans to improve the initiative. (200 words maximum)
The lessons learned are the application of the King’s Philosophy for sustainable development under the principle of “Understanding, access and development” to the projects, which contributed to the success of sustainable development. The participation of local communities also reflected their problems and led to the solution of the problems according to local needs. The successful results could be implemented in other areas of the country to increase the income of mostly poor households in non-irrigated areas to be more than 32,000 baht/year. The target is expected to support no less than 85,600 households, which covers 646 sub-districts in 70 provinces.