On 11 May 2012, Mr. Kittiwet Kuntiyawichai successfully presented and defended his PhD thesis and was awarded with a Doctoral degree. Professor Bart Schultz and Professor Stefan Uhlenbrook were his promoters. The PhD research focused on ‘interactions between land use and flood management in the chi river basin'
About the research
The damages and hardships caused by floods and flooding remain an issue and are continuously increasing in the Chi River Basin, Thailand. It is difficult to make an accurate assessment of the costs and consequences associated with floods. However, flood hazards can also be seen as an opportunity, a chance to correct possible flaws and ambiguities in the flood management.
The Chi River system cannot handle the regularly occurring floods, consequently, flooding of the low-lying areas occurs on a regular basis. Therefore, an integrated flood management framework needs to be developed to minimize the negative effects of floods of different magnitude. In response, a hydrological model (SWAT) and a hydraulic (1D/2D SOBEK) model were integrated to simulate floods in detailed way and to analyse the current system. A reliable simulation of the river flows and inundated areas is an essential component of a holistic flood management plan.
The developed modelling framework enabled to analyse the impact of different structural measures such as river normalisation, green river (bypass), and retention basin. In addition, non-structural measures including reservoir operation and spatial land use planning were assessed in their capability to protect people and valuable infrastructure. For each measure, several possible scenarios were tested and evaluated based on economic and technical efficiency criteria to determine the most promising and efficient scenario. However, effective interventions may involve a judicious combination of flood mitigation approaches, rather than reliance on a stand-alone solution. A truly optimum combination of aforesaid measures was then chosen since it could considerably reduce flood extent and its damage.
Finally, the study illustrates the effects of land use changes on floods, which indicated little or no significant potential impact on flood regime at river basin level, but rather at sub-basin scale. This finding is important for a better understanding of the scale and direction of impacts of developments in the future. Integrated land use planning was shown to be an essential component of a comprehensive flood management framework.
UNESCO-IHE PhD Dissertations
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