Building a digital water management system for Thailand

Building a digital water management system for Thailand

Effective water management is crucial for both Thailand’s large agricultural sector and for its fast developing high-tech manufacturing sector. Cloudasset’s Digital Solution for Water Management integrated over 40 databases and data from satellites and over 30,000 sensors to provide Thailand with near real-time monitoring & management with short-term and long-term forecasting for water availability and flood and drought predictions.

In 2011 severe flooding in Thailand caused 815 deaths and US$46.5 billion in economic damages. Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of rice, sugar, and starch, and the flooding caused major disruptions to the agricultural sector. However, the flooding had its biggest impact on the country’s fast developing industrial sector, inundating major industrial estates and causing a global shortage of hard disk drives amongst numerous other key components supporting global manufacturing supply chains.

Recognising the importance of water to both the agricultural and industrial sides of Thailand’s economy, the Thai Government under the patronage of the late King Bhuimbol Adulyadej set out a multi-year strategy to improve the country’s water resource management. In recognising water as a natural resource as important as oil or gas, Thailand can be considered a global pioneer.

As a country with a long, independent history, Thailand’s water institutions and agencies have a long legacy of managing various aspects of the water ecosystem across the country. This makes bringing the different views, stewardships, and ownerships to a single unified operational model difficult at times.

To overcome this issue, the Thai Ministry of Science & Technology mandated Thailand’s Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute to create a roadmap to realise integrated water resource management capacity and began searching for a partner to help them build a digital water management system that would allow them to become the central agency supporting Thailand in its water resilience and water security efforts.

A successful partnership

HAII chose Cloudasset as their partner in this project due to their strong focus on Digitalisation & Data Sciences offering unique capabilities to vertically integrate many different aspects of water management.

HAII’s Dr Royol Chitradon, a leading water informatics expert and scientist, was key to shaping the vision of the project and the outcomes that would specifically meet Thailand’s national requirements. As director of HAII Dr Chitradon worked closely with the national leadership to ensure cross agency alignment in water management. It was Dr Chitradon’s vision and direction for Thailand’s water management system that Cloudasset’s Chief Architect Hasan Malik has led the way in achieving.

To achieve Dr Chitradon’s vision, Cloudasset developed a data management platform to ingest and cleanse data from over 40 disparate data sources, originating across various Thai government departments and authorities, and from over 30,000 sensors deployed across the nation.

This was supplemented with satellite data from the Japanese Aerospace Authority (JAXA), The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA US), the Thai Navy, and human data pulled from the Internet and social media sources to create a live Unified Situation Picture of the national water at any given moment.

This data is compiled into a single data lake, which powers the digital water resource platform. Cloudasset’s solution offers artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable near real-time monitoring with prediction and forecast capabilities. The system can provide short and long-term flood and drought probabilities, impact assessments, and aid in disaster and risk-management at a national scale.

The benefits of the system

One of the key benefits of Cloudasset’s data and analytics orientated approach to resource management, as opposed to traditional mathematical modelling techniques, is that it is faster and dynamically handles weather pattern and climate change related anomalies. By employing data and analytics, data modelling and processing times are greatly reduced from hours or even days to near real time, making the results much more useful for fast and ongoing water management decisions.

The new system allows Thailand’s water authorities to predict their water scarcity and availability for better provisioning, balancing and water allocation across the nation. Short and long-term forecasts of flood and drought-related hazards provide HAII with the ability to advise relevant stakeholders, including the agriculture sector, on potential flood and drought scenarios, thus allowing them to plan accordingly. The Information also feeds into the regulation of dams, water reservoirs and river capacity management.

Looking to the future

One of the most powerful features of the system is that it allows agencies and decision makers to clearly see the way water-related trends and patterns are changing due to climate change phenomena. This leads to a stark realization; the water levels, rainfall amounts and other related metrics recorded over the last few years are not like anything that has been seen in the past.

This is real quantitative evidence that climate change is having an effect and an important reminder that effective management of the water, as well as other natural resources, will become even more important in the future.

Recognising this Cloudasset has embarked on globalising its capabilities in offering regional water management agencies enhanced tools and capabilities in supporting their capacity development and readiness to water resource management challenges.

Cloudasset’s solutions are not limited to water management. Our platforms help organizations manage any resource from sewage to agricultural land use, environment and power. Cloudasset will work to provide you with decision capabilities that will allow you to get the most out of the resources you possess. If you are interested in what Cloudasset could do for your organisation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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