EEPSEA – IIASA Training Workshop on Water Resources Management in Southeast Asia

EEPSEA – IIASA Training Workshop on Water Resources Management: Climate and Socioeconomic Change Adaptation in Transboundary Basins

In October, the Training Workshop on Water Resources Management: Climate and Socioeconomic Change Adaptation in Transboundary Basins was jointly organized by the Economy and Environment Partnership for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), the Environment for Development Center (EfD-Vietnam), and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). This three-day workshop ran on 12, 14, and 21 October and covered theories and practices of water management model in the context of climate change. The workshop welcomed 31 participants from different disciplines from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The workshop started with a warm welcome and introduction by distinguished representatives from EEPSEA, EfD- Vietnam, IIASA, and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The first day of the workshop focused mainly on theories and models. Dr. Peter Burek, Mikhail Smilovic, and Luca Guillaumot (IIASA) presented about the Community Water Model (CWatM) developed by IIASA, which can model major hydrological processes, including hydrological features of a water body, construction, water demand, and human interaction with basin. The model is open-source in Python and can be used both globally and regionally free of charge, available at Dr. Burek also delivered a quick tutorial of the CWatM software to give an overview of the tool. Then, participants were assigned to smaller groups to give a try of the software.

After a short break, Dr. Taher Kahil (IIASA) touched on the economic aspect of water management through his session on hydro-economic modelling. The problem of water management is how communities determine water allocations across users, across places, and across time periods. Two basin-level modelling approaches were introduced, System Dynamics (simulation) and Hydro-Economic (optimisation), of which the latter was focused more in the workshop. Global Hydro-Economic Model (ECHO) is used to optimize economic objectives under physical, technical, and institutional constraints of a basin. Day 1 continued with Dr. Reetik-Kumar Sahu (IIASA) briefing about the General Algebraic Modelling System (GAMS) for hydro-economic modelling. Dr. Sahu gave detailed instructions of GAMS software installation and setup, as well as gave 4 examples of how to run the model and analyze the results.

On day 2 and day 3 of the workshop series, the participants were further exposed the tools for water management, including CWatM, ECHO-GAMS, and Global Agro-Ecological Zones (GAEZ). Participants were assigned to smaller groups with one of the instructors to test-run the model and work through exercises in the course. The tutorials allowed interactive discussions between the instructors and the participants so that all participants can get hands-on experience of the tools. IIASA staff also went the extra mile to run the model on different basins and catchment areas in Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and Cambodia based on request.

Although the workshop was organized entirely online, it remained interactive and insightful, as the participants reflected at the end of day 3. They have enjoyed learning about IIASA’s in-house model of water management and getting hands-on experience with related tools. As Dr. Pham Khanh Nam (EEPSEA Director) remarked in his speech, the workshop set the first cornerstone for the stream of research in community water management that is transdisciplinary and transboundary in the context of climate change. With the skills gained from the workshop, participants can get involved in the water management policy-making process in their community.

By: Khanh Minh

Info about the training course: