Assessment of the Potential for Groundwater Irrigation in the Resettlement Villages of the Theun-Hinboun Expansion Project

The preliminary assessment of the potential for groundwater development in Sopphoun and Phonthong villages in Bolikhamxay Province was concluded at the meeting held at Khon Kaen University, Thailand, on 9 August 2013. The meeting was attended by members of the Enhancing the resilience and productivity of rainfed dominated systems in Lao PDR through sustainable groundwater use project.

The meeting was organized to present the findings from the preliminary assessment of the potential for implementation of groundwater irrigation projects at two of the resettlement villages of the Theun-Hinboun Expansion Project (THXP) in Lao PDR.

The project team invited Hydrogeosci Co. Ltd., to lead the hydrogeological component of the study and to assess the possibility of implementing a pilot site at THXP. Hydrogeosci Co., Ltd., reported that there is potential for the development of groundwater for irrigation in Phonthong Village. However, this was not the case in Sopphoun Village, which has significantly lower prospects for the development of groundwater resources to support village-level irrigation from the shallow aquifers.

The project team agreed to proceed with a second phase that would involve a pilot irrigation trial in a 30-hectare area. This would first involve the drilling and testing of three water wells, two of which would be used as irrigation wells.

Jens Johan Laugen, Social and Environmental Manager, THXP, showed a strong commitment toward this collaboration with the project team, and indicated a strong interest in launching a full-scale irrigation scheme if the pilot trial is technically, socially and economically successful.

The one-day program started with a visit to the groundwater irrigation site at Na Yom Village to discuss irrigation system and water delivery, prior to visiting the Inter Water Treatment Company to inspect the various tools and equipment necessary for groundwater development.

The meeting was jointly organized by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI); Groundwater Research Center, Faculty of Technology, Khon Kaen University; and Hydrogeosci Co., Ltd. Participants at the meeting included representatives from the Department of Irrigation; Department of Water Resources; Natural Resources and Environment Institute; Theun-Hinboun Power Company; and the Water Resources Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Laos.

Posted by IWMI Thursday, June 12, 2014 11:20:00 AM

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