Improving Flood and Drought Management in Agricultural River Basins

Graphic abstract, all text is in the abstract

ESSIC Post-doctoral Associate Natthachet Tangdamrongsub is a co-author on a new study in Water Policy that aims at the solutions to mitigate flood and drought damage to agriculture. For this international paper, Tangdamrongsub worked alongside researchers from the Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi in Thailand and the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands.


In the study, the researchers analyzed the adverse impacts of basin-scale floods and droughts on rice cultivation in the Mun River Basin in southern Thailand. They also estimated the coping capacity of existing water development projects. Thousands of water development projects have been implemented in the Mun River Basin, but ineffective project planning often means that rivers and droughts continue to occur or are only partly mitigated.


The results of the study demonstrate that while the total storage capacity of in-situ and ongoing projects would be sufficient to tackle both environmental hazards, it can only be achieved if the projects are effectively utilized. The researchers propose several solutions for the region that are practicable, economical, environmentally low-impact: small farm ponds, a subsurface floodwater harvesting system, and oxbow lake reconnections. Implementing these solutions would reduce flood and drought problems in the basin. These measures and calculation methods can be applied to other crops and regions.


Tangdamrongsub previously worked at Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) and University of Newcastle (Australia) before joining NASA GSFC. He works at the nexus of geodesy, hydrology, and climate. His research expertise is remote sensing, satellite geodesy, and data assimilation, which has been applied to water resources, land deformation, flood monitoring, and climate change applications. His co-authors include: Saowanit Prabnakorn, a lecturer at the Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi; Laddaporn Ruangpan, a Ph.D. student at IHE (Netherlands) working on RECONECT EU Horizon 2020 project; F. X. Suryadi, a senior lecturer in Land and Water Development at IHE (Netherlands); and Charlotte de Fraiture is a professor of Hydraulic Engineering for Land and Water Development at IHE (Netherlands).


To access the article, click here: “Improving flood and drought management in agricultural river basins: an application to the Mun River Basin in Thailand”.