On 13 and 14 March 2017, a high-level delegation visited the Netherlands for a meeting and site visit on groundwater governance and groundwater monitoring systems, organised by IGRAC and partners. High government officials from several ministries and departments visited IGRAC, UNESCO-IHE, Deltares, Acacia Water and Waternet.
The morning programme was hosted by UNESCO-IHE. After opening remarks by Dr. Holtzwarth (UNESCO-IHE), Dr. Kukuric (IGRAC) and Dr. Nettasana (DGR Thailand), presentations were given about global challenges and best practices as well as groundwater monitoring and information sharing by Neno Kukuric and Nienke Ansems. Then, UNESCO-IHE Associate Professors Yangxiao Zhou and Frank Jaspers shared UNESCO-IHE’s expertise in groundwater research and groundwater governance.
After lunch, Deltares provided an afternoon programme on ‘Innovations in groundwater monitoring and modeling’. After an introduction on Deltares’ work, there was an interesting discussion on main groundwater challenges and programmes in Thailand. Afterwards, several topics like salinisation and groundwater quality monitoring were dealt with before visiting the CASTEL laboratory.
The second day started with a visit to Acacia Water, where Director Arjen de Vries gave a presentation on how his consultancy provides practical solutions for IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management) challenges.
Afterwards, the delegation went from Gouda to Amsterdam to visit Waternet/Amsterdam Water Supply Dunes, where a lunch presentation was given on ‘Drinking water supply and the Amsterdam Water Supply Dunes’ by Hydrologist Frank Smits. Closing remarks by Dr. Nettasana and Dr. Kukuric followed after which the delegation participated in a bike tour through the Amsterdam Water Supply Dunes. This marked the end of an interesting programme in which the Thai delegation and Dutch organisations exchanged ideas and best practices.