Water Resource Allocation Issues in Thailand

Announcing: Chintraruck, Alin and John Walsh, “Water Resource Allocation Issues in Thailand,” International Postgraduate Business Journal, Vol.5, No.1 (2013), pp.31-47, available at: http://www.oyagsb.uum.edu.my/images/IPBJ/list%20isue/2013_vol_5/artikal_jurnal_IPBJ_bab_2_1.pdf.


The allocation of scarce resources has been problematic throughout modern history, particularly in the case of a resource as critical to human existence as water. Grounds for allocation include considerations of ideology, politics and equity. In conditions of increasing uncertainty regarding the supply of water resulting from global climate change and its effects, as well as continuously intensifying demand for water from industrial, agricultural, tourist and residential interests, the means and effectiveness of allocation decisions has become one of the most important decisions that governmental agencies are required to make. This issue is examined through the case study of Thailand, which is a country in a sub-tropical region receiving considerable rainfall during the monsoon season but with enormously elevated levels of demand for water in the contemporary period as the result of industrialization, population increase and the creation of a mass tourism industry. Historically, water allocation has taken place as the result of political contestation between government agencies and the provincial and national levels and private sector organizations and individuals. However, in a changing political and natural environment, new directions and approaches must be explored. This paper introduces new approaches to the issue of water allocation and highlights the changes in thinking required for future decision-making under conditions of greater unpredictability of supply and intensification of demand.
Keywords: industry; resource allocation; scarce resources; tourism; water


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