Press Release: 1st October 2008
On Friday 17th October 2008, SLP Environmental sponsored a ‘World Water Monitoring Day’ event on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand with the objective of promoting public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world. The World Water Monitoring Day is an international program coordinated by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA) which takes place each year in communities around the world between September 18 and October 18. Organisations and individuals of all ages monitor the condition of their local rivers, streams, estuaries and other water bodies. In 2007, over 46,000 people took part in 43 countries and by 2012 the program hopes to have 1,000,000 people in 100 countries taking part in the event.
Liz Heath, an Environmental Consultant and Director at SLP Environmental based in Bangkok, Thailand, co-organised and sponsored the event in collaboration with Green Networking Days. As Environmental Consultants based in Thailand, SLP Environmental were ideally placed to offer assistance in the organisation and promotion of the event and provide professional technical support on the day. The water monitoring event was held along the lower reach of the Chao Phraya River running through Bangkok, aboard the Prem Centre Magic Eyes Barge, an educational classroom and floating laboratory housed upon a converted rice barge.
Thirty members of Green Networking Days, with assistance from experienced water monitoring volunteers from both SLP Environmental and the Prem Centre Magic Eyes Barge performed water monitoring tests on water samples for dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity (clarity) and temperature (the four parameters required by the Water Monitoring Day program). The water monitoring was undertaken at two locations along the Chao Phraya River. The first sampling location was upstream in the centre of the Chao Phraya River near the Rama VIII Bridge and the second was downstream at Wat Dao Khanong Pier, Thonburi where Dao Khanong Klong (Canal) joins the Chao Phraya River.
The results indicated a slight deterioration in water quality between the two monitoring locations and this is considered to reflect the fact that the Dao Khanong Klong discharges waters with a higher organic and suspended solids loading into the Chao Phraya River at this location.
Speakers at the event also gave participants an overview of the importance of the Chao Phraya River and its watersheds to Thailand and explored the environmental issues associated with the degradation of water quality in the river as a result of anthropogenic activities. Participants also discussed the benefits of adopting a more environmentally friendly and ecologically sustainable way of life.
The Chao Phraya River Basin covers approximately 35% of Thailand’s land mass, rises in the mountains of Doi Inthanon National Park in north west Thailand near Chiang Mai and runs for 1,085 kilometers before entering the Gulf of Thailand in Samut Prakan Province. The larger Chao Phraya catchment contains the watersheds of several large tributaries, including the Ping, Wang, Yom, and Nan Rivers, as well as many smaller watersheds for rivers such as the Tha Chin, Pasak and Lopburi.
Much of Thai history can be traced along the banks of the Chao Phraya River and today the Chao Phraya River remains the most important waterway for the people of central Thailand, as a source of water for domestic use, agriculture, industry, transport, religious festivals and leisure. Feedback from the day was extremely positive and there was consensus amongst the participants that a holistic management plan for the Chao Phraya River and its associated watersheds should be formulated and implemented in order that future generations of Thai’s can continue to enjoy the enormous benefits this vital watercourse bestows upon the Country.
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