Adapting to climate change: climate-sensitive water resource management for Thailand (TGCP-Water)

Project Description

Titel: Thai-German Climate Programme – Water
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Country: Thailand
Lead executing agency: Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR), Department of Water Resources (DWR), Department of Public Works and Town & Country (DPT), Royal Irrigation Department (RID)
Overall termn: 2018 to 2021


In the Global Climate Risk Index 2017, Thailand ranks 10th in the list of countries most affected by climate change worldwide. Population growth, the expansion of metropolitan areas, economic growth and the risks associated with climate change will pose new challenges to water resource management in particular in the coming years. In light of this, Thailand is intensifying its efforts to improve its resilience to the negative effects of climate change with regard to water resource management. The nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to which the country has committed itself under the Paris Agreement prioritise promoting integrated water resource management (IWRM) as a climate change adaptation measure. Ecosystem-based climate change adaptation is also increasingly recognised as a prerequisite to protect water supplies and water bodies, to reduce the risk of flooding and drought and to tackle severe weather events.


National framework conditions for climate-sensitive, integrated water resource management and ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) are improved. This has created the key conditions for tackling the effects of climate change and avoiding and reducing water related disasters.

Photo of a river basin in Thailand


The project advises the Thai Government on integrating adaptation to climate change in its national water policy and water strategies. In close coordination with the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR), the project is also planning and developing a national guideline for integrated planning processes in river basins that takes account of climate change adaptation aspects. Use and implementation of the guideline is intended to be mandatory in relation to planning processes in the country’s 22 river basins.

The project promotes institutional and technical skills development in two river basins. This will improve access to risk-related information and local climate analyses and support planning with regard to considering the effects of climate change and involving various interest groups. 

The project creates a framework for analysing and evaluating climate change adaptation measures in the water sector. It is harmonised with the requirements for national reporting on implementation of the national adaptation plan and international climate reporting.

The project identifies models for public and private financing of climate change adaptation measures that may serve as options for climate finance with regard to water in Thailand. It also promotes dialogue with other national and international initiatives. This is particularly true of lessons learned by Thailand with regard to the systematic integration of climate change adaptation measures in the water sector.


  • The multi-agency collaboration between the Ministry of Environment (ONEP) and ONWR has been strengthened. An evaluation tool for mainstreaming climate- and ecosystem-based adaptation measures in the water sector was developed for this purpose. These agencies also took part jointly in the World Climate Conference and gave coordinated presentations. This collaboration will continue, including by developing a joint policy brief series, which will increase awareness of the issue of climate change adaptation among authorities with responsibilities in the water sector.
  • Two pilot projects were selected for implementation of specific technical advisory measures. They cover the Yom river basin in northern Thailand and the Sakaekrang river basin in western Thailand. A comprehensive skills development programme is planned here. This will promote consideration of climate risks in river basin planning and integration of EbA measures as climate change adaptation options in project planning.
  • The project has helped to establish a research partnership between ONWR and selected universities in Thailand. This partnership supports development of a digital, community based approach to analysing and evaluating EbA measures. A comprehensive methodology will help to record and better understand the effects and benefits of various EbA measures. This allows actors in the water sector to make evidence based decisions and use EbA in Thailand in a targeted way to reduce the risk of flooding and drought.

Last update: February 2021