Integrated Water Resources Management, Australian Experiences
MELBOURNE: From 08 August to 09 September 2011, Mr. Khim Sophanna has been awarded to participate in the short course on Integrated Water Resource Management in Australia. The course was organized by the Chisholm Institute in association with Earth Systems and Entura/Hydro Tasmania and it was supported by AusAID.
The objectives of the course are to:
- strengthen Cambodian capacity to manage water resources in a river basin in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner;
- promote synergies between the different parts of the Australian water resources-related portfolio of assistance to Cambodia;
- create a blueprint for improving Cambodian IWRM capacity that could be implemented by the Cambodian Water Resources Management Sector Development Program (CWRMSDP); and
20 Participants (of whom one is a woman) representing the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, the Provincial Departments of Water Resources and Meteorology of Kampong Thom, Kampot and Takeo provinces; the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery; Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy; the Supreme National Economic Council, the Cambodian National Mekong Committee, the Tonle Sap Authority, the Technical Service Centre for Irrigation and Meteorology, CARDI, CAVAC, CEDAC, CDRI, CENTDOR, Royal University of Phnom Penh and the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, attended the course.
The course comprises of 6 modules:
- Integrated Water Resources Management
- Mitigating Water Pollution
- Estimation of Water Use and Water Balance
- Basic Principles of River Basin Modeling
- Flood/drought Policy and Planning
- Operation and Maintenance of Water Infrastructure
Through the course, selected participants were given an opportunity to further enhance their knowledge and experiences in IWRM and build people to people linkages at individual, institutional and country levels so that they can continue to contribute to effective water resource management in Cambodia. Quite a range of water governance issues were presented, discussed and assessed in plenary and in small groups. In addition to the presentations by concerned authorities of the host country, numerous field visits were organized to illustrate the course contents and provided space for intensive interactions.
It was a very good opportunity for me to get to know Australia, its people, its culture and landscape etc. Among other things, I have gained knowledge from different topics as follows:
- the History of water use in Australia
- the Water Initiatives
- the National Water Commission
- the Murray Darling River Basin Authority
- the rice industry in Australia
- the water stress, water shortage and water scarcity in the areas visited and the innovative solutions of the Australian people to cope with the limited water resources they have
- learn from Murray Irrigation Limited: modern technology, water licenses and water allocation
- water pollution, waste water treatment plant
- flood control and flood/drought management
- water trading, water pricing, water restrictions when drought
- climate change and its impacts mitigation measurements
- energy trading
- hydro power development, operation, management and the mitigation measures to reduce impacts on the environment
- the role of private sector in water governance and water use management
- environmental flow in practice
- environmental awareness programs
- landscape, climate and the fast changing weather conditions
- Landcare and Lakecare groups: participation of local communities to restore the environment
- The visits of the Australian Capital Territory; the states of Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and many different state institutions and authorities etc.
I will use my gained knowledge and experiences to train and share with interested staff of CEDAC and the staff of the Irrigation Service Center (ISC) in Kampong Thom, the steering committee members of the Farmer and Water Net (FWN), the FWUC committee of Stung Chinit Irrigation Scheme, local authorities and other stakeholders during future training programs and workshops.