Thailand and China will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Technical Cooperation in the Field of Water Resources and Irrigation.
The Cabinet, during its meeting on 14 August 2012, allowed the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to represent the Thai government in signing the MOU with China’s Ministry of Water Resources.
Both agencies had signed the MOU on Scientific and Technical Cooperation in April 1997 and the MOU expired in April 2007. They agreed to replace this MOU with the MOU on Technical Cooperation in the Field of Water Resources and Irrigation.
The objective of the new MOU is to expand Thai-Chinese cooperation to cover sustainable water resource management, dam construction and management, flood prevention, soil and water conservation, irrigation and water drainage, and efforts to cope with impacts of climate change on water resources.
Under the MOU, Thailand and China will exchange information and study visits of experts in this field. They will jointly organize conferences, workshops, and exhibitions and support research and development on related topics. Training in water management will also be provided for officials at the operation level.
During the severe floods in Thailand in 2011, the Chinese government donated flood relief supplies and dispatched a team of flood control and water management experts to Thailand to offer useful advice for handling the flooding situation.
In order to resolve water and flood problems in the long run, the Thai government is inviting interested local and foreign consulting firms to propose conceptual plans for Thailand’s overall water management. It has extended the deadline for submitting the conceptual plans from 24 August to 14 September 2012 to give more time for interested companies.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra stated that procurement procedures for the project would be transparent and that the Government would choose the best plan for the country, as flooding is a national concern and needs to be brought under control.
She said that the Government is in the process of gathering information in order to explain this issue to the public to ensure transparency. The people would also be informed about the Government’s preparedness and its urgent plans to handle water management and flooding. The information would come from statistics on water volume and possible scenarios.
The Prime Minister said that CCTVs had been installed in vulnerable areas, so that the Government would be able to deal with floods promptly when they occurred. In case of emergency, warnings would be given on a continual basis through the website www.thaiwater.net.