The collapse of a dam in southeastern Laos triggered massive flooding that killed dozens and displaced thousands of people, bringing a renewed focus on hydroelectric dams in mainland Southeast Asia. In an email interview, Diana Suhardiman, a senior researcher at the International Water Management Institute, discusses the trade-offs associated with large-scale dam projects.
Nature based infrastructure was at the forefront of this year's Stockholm World Water Week, and the Groundwater Solutions Initiative for Policy and Practice (GRIPP) special session looked at how we can harness the “green” infrastructure beneath our feet for improved water security and resilience for vulnerable communities.
In recent years, the mitigation of climate change and the improvement of soil fertility by sequestering carbon in the soil has become a hot research topic. The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), supported by WLE, have had great success in developing projects to provide individual farmers and extension officers with soil information of relevance for their management decisions, meeting an increasing need for spatial data on soil properties at multiple scales.
Across Asia, man-made structures have stood powerless to avert tragedy after tragedy during 2018’s rainy season. Dams are vital for energy needs and economic growth. But they’ve been criticised for posing risks to local communities and the fragile environments in which they are built. WLE and IWMI research proposes several innovative solutions that mitigate the threats of these fragile environments through natural infrastructure.
Launched this year at Stockholm World Water Week, GRIPP has curated over 20 solutions for Groundwater-Based Natural Infrastructure, or GBNI, contributed from experts around the world. Groundwater is natural capital, and if managed properly, can provide resilience and water security in the face of future changes. Check out some case studies and learn more about the solutions on the new GRIPP platform.
Dr. Petra Schmitter at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and WLE leads a pilot project that could revolutionize farming in Myanmar's Central Dry Zone, one of the most food-insecure regions in the country.
Our partners at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) have contributed to a new paper published in Science that shows that increasing irrigation efficiency through irrigation technologies alone is failing to reduce water consumption and, paradoxically, may even be making water scarcity worse.
“We should apply this model to the other 300 irrigation projects in the dry zone. Now many villagers in this area know how to use water more efficiently and there will no longer be disputes over the allocation of water in the near future”
Farmers living in the central dry zone will no longer have to fight for water thanks to a pilot project funded by Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT), International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and other partners, officials said.