Irrigation project in Phitsanulok | Bangkok Post: learning

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Irrigation project in Phitsanulok

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In Phitsanulok a "land consolidation" model will rearrange farms to make efficient use of irrigation water delivered via dikes and ditches. 

Learn about a major irrigation project near Phitsanulok that began in 2008 and will run until 2016. The success of the project hinges on cooperation between local farmers.

The full article for the extract below can be found here.

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Making the most of Water by Walailak Keeratipipatpong

rice fieldsLand consolidation intended to ensure that thousands of farm families have optimum access to irrigation water from new dam.

The Irrigation Department is speeding up work to consolidate 114,000 rai of land in the vicinity of the newly built Kwai Noi Bamrung Daen Dam, with the help of a 1.58-billion-baht loan from the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA)…

The major challenge will be convincing residents of the need for each property to sacrifice up to 7% of its land to accommodate shared facilities such as roads, dikes and water-control buildings to ensure fair water distribution for everyone.

The dam, located in Wat Bot district in Phitsanulok, was completed last year after five years of construction. It comprises three dams - Kwai Noi, San Takien and a saddle dam - to create a reservoir with a capacity of 912 million cubic metres of water from the Nan River, benefiting 5,600 farm households

To maximise efficient use of irrigation water, the Irrigation Department is carrying out an intensive land consolidation model, in which farms in the area will be rearranged, said director-general Chalit Damrongsak. Dikes and ditches will be built through each farmer's land to ensure the fair use of water, while small roads will improve farm product transport.

The consolidation plan began in 2008 and could take until 2016 to complete, covering 114,189 rai of land at a cost of 1.97 billion baht cost, with 387 million from the government budget and the balance from the JICA…

He stressed that land consolidation should be carried out before the water from the reservoir irrigates the area thoroughly, because those villagers living next to water lines may not want to accept change later on.

Land consolidation is one of the two models the department uses to manage water distribution, but it is much more costly and time-consuming than the conventional approach using only dikes and ditches.

Over the past four decades, the department consolidated only 1.87 million rai plot of land while 10.56 million rai were irrigated through dikes and ditches

In addition to giving up small amounts of their land, area residents will have to absorb 20% of the investment cost, approximately 370 to 400 baht per rai.

Construction of on-farm distribution systems by farmers themselves with government assistance is described in the Ditch and Dike Act of 1962 and the Land Consolidation Act of 1968, but officials say it is necessary to seek wider co-operation from local villagers.

We have them absorb the expense in order to bring about community participation in ownership of resources and development," said Mr Charun…

The model was first applied in Sing Buri and Chai Nat provinces, which receive irrigation water from the Chao Phraya Dam. It helped improve productivity of rice paddy to as much as 800 kilogrammes per rai.

In Phitsanulok, more than 175,000 rai in the districts of Muang, Phrom Phiram, Bang Rakam and Bang Krathum have been consolidated since 1976, helping the province become a major rice production centre in the Lower North.

...[the] next challenge will be to select representatives to supervise public facilities and co-ordinate with local officials of the Irrigation Department to shut and open the dam's gates to manage the use of water properly.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Making the most of Water, 20/09/2010, Walailak Keeratipipatpong, link

irrigation - the process of bringing water to land through a system of pipes, ditches, etc. in order to make crops grow ระบบชลประทาน (See Wikipedia)
cooperation - when people work together to achieve goals การทำงานร่วมกัน
consolidation (noun) - combining several smalls things into one big thing, joining separate things into one unified whole การรวมตัวเป็นหนึ่ง
consolidate (verb) - to make the power, position or achievements you already have stronger or more effective รวมเป็นหนึ่ง
intend - planned; want it to happen ที่ได้วางแผนไว้ ที่ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น
ensure - to make certain that something happens or is done รับรอง ให้ความมั่นใจ
optimum - the best possible ดีที่สุด
access - the right or opportunity to have or use something ได้รับสิทธิ์หรือโอกาสในการใช้
vicinity - an area near a particular place บริเวณใกล้เคียง
loan - an amount of money that a person, business or country borrows เงินกู้ 
Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) -
an independent governmental agency that coordinates official development assistance (ODA) for the government of Japan (See website and Wikipedia)
challenge - something difficult to achieve, needing a lot of skill, energy and determination to deal with or achieve สิ่งท้าทาย
residents - people who live in a particular place or area ชาวบ้านในบริเวณ ผู้อาศัยในบริเวณ
property - a piece of land
sacrifice - important or valuable things given up, so that you or other people can have or do something else ความเสียสละเพื่อส่วนรวม
accommodate - to prepare what is needed for something ปรับตัว
accommodate - to provide a place for something or someone ให้ที่พักพิง
facilities - the special buildings, equipment and services provided for a particular purpose (example: university facilities, athletic facilities) สิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก
dike - a long narrow passage for water to pass through on flat land
distribution - giving or delivering things to many people การจำหน่ายออกไป

construction - the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. การก่อสร้าง
comprises - includes
reservoir - a natural or artificial lake where water is stored อ่างเก็บน้ำ
capacity - the total amount that can be contained ปริมาณสูงสุดที่จะรับได้
households - families or groups of people living together (economics treats this as a unit that makes decisions)
efficient - produces a lot from few resources, doing a task with no waste of time, money or energy
intensive - involving a lot of effort, energy, or attention
improve - to make better ทำให้ดีขึ้น
transport - to move people or things from one place to another ขนส่ง
budget - the amounts of money that an organisation has available to spend on different things during a period งบประมาณ (See Wikipedia)

stressed - nervous and anxious about what will happen (in the future, for example)
models - a system, a simple description of how a system works (to help you understand it)
time-consuming - task or project uses a lot of time
conventional - commonly used, ordinary, usual or normal way of doing something ธรรมดา, ตามแบบแผน
approach - a particular way of doing something or thinking about something วิธีการทำให้ถึงจุดหมาย, การจัดการกับปัญหา
decades - periods of ten years เป็นสิบๆปี
plot - a piece of land used for a particular purpose
ditch - a long narrow hole dug along the side of a field (to carry water to the field or to collect water runoff)

residents - people who live in a place ผู้พักอาศัย
absorb - to take in a liquid, gas or other substance form the surface or space around ซึมซับ ดูดกลืน
investment - taking your money and putting it into projects to make a profit or earn interest (buying stock shares, bonds, real estate)
assistance - help (given to someone)
seek wider co-operation - get more people to work together to achieve goals
local - in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
absorb the expense - when people pay for something, rather than having someone else pay and receiving it for free
community - local people, all the people who live in a local area or place ชุมชน
participation - being involved in an activity (rather than merely watching it happen)
resources - things such as coal, trees and oil that exist in nature and can be used by people ทรัพยากร
resources - things needed for proper functioning, to get a job done
development - the gradual growth and formation of something

apply a model - use a model (of how you would like a system to be) to create a real system
productivity - producing more with the same amount of inputs (labour, energy, etc) การผลิตสินค้า
paddy - rice after it has been harvested from the field white rice milled from paddy ข้าวเปลือก
supervise - to be in charge of an activity and to check that everything is being done correctly ดูแล ควบคุม
supervise - to guide a group of people working together, check up on work and help them work effectively
public facilities -
equipment or buildings that everyone uses (not just by one "private" owner)
co-ordinate -
to organize the different parts of a job or task so people can work together effectively and achieve their goals

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