Flood and Drought Management Tools

Possibilities and need for data and hydroinformatics in assessing impacts and risks of climate change, droughts and floods in Myanmar

On the 5th and 6th of September, The Hydro-informatics Centre (HIC) organised a workshop with participants from Myanmar, Thailand (HAII), ESA and the UNEP Floods & Droughts project (DHI/IWA).

The aim of the workshop was to enhance the levels of understanding around the possibilities and need for data and hydroinformatics in assessing impacts and risks of climate change, droughts and floods in Myanmar. .

Data and hydroinformation is the basis for any planning activity, and data availability is often one of the key constraints for planning. This workshop focused on knowledge sharing between different organisations aiming at providing an overview and understanding of how data and hydroinformatics are used in different planning contexts.

The workshop is divided into a high level workshop (day 1) with senior level participants, and a second day (day 2)  technical training on the use of spatially distributed satellite data within Myanmar.

Seminar for higher level policy and technical staff (day 1)

The high level workshop (day 1) was initiated with a welcoming speech by U Htun Lwin Oo, Secretary, National Water Resources Committee (NWRC) and DG/DWIR followed by presentation of the mandate, objective and work within the Hydro-informatics Centre (HIC) in Myanmar. One of the current key objectives is to increase the training and capacity of local staff. This is currently done  through an ongoing young water professional programme supporting between 10 and 20 persons every year. The Ayeyarwady Integrated River Basin Management Project (AIRBM) will be the next challenge for HIC as it will further expand the capabilities within HIC to basin planning and management.

Figure 1. Welcome Speech by U Htun Lwin Oo, Secretary, National Water Resources Committee (NWRC) and DG/DWIR

The Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute (HAII) of Thailand presented their work and status as a similar hydroinformatics centre by Dr Royal Chitradon (Director of HAII). HAII was funded 18 years ago, and they hope to use this opportunity to transfer their knowledge and experiences from their work to HIC. Ms Lalilta Rammond (IWA) introduced the Flood & Drought Management Tools (FDMT) project addressing how Water Safety Planning (WSP) could be further strengthened in Myanmar. Mr Oluf Jessen (DHI) presented “Planning and decision making at basin level” focusing on the requirements and challenges in basin management. Potential applications of the FDMT project outcomes in Myanmar was also presented. Mr Christian Tøttrup (ESA/DHI-GRAS) presented an upcoming European Space Agency (ESA) project and how the project outcomes could be made available in Myanmar. The focus is on highly detailed and technical satellite based products as flood or land use mapping.

Figure 2. Participants for the high-level workshop on day 1

Technical workshop for technical staff and specialists (day 2)

The technical workshop (day 2) was organised at Summit Parkview Hotel, Yangon, Myanmar. The workshop was attended by 40 young water professionals.

The workshop titled: “Training case: From data and information to planning” was structured as follows:

  • Introduction to satellite data
  • Exercises in the use of the data portal from the Flood & Drought Management Tools project
  • Discussions on how the data could be used in Myanmar. The discussion focused on the need for spatial data in Myanmar as the current observation network is relatively sparse. Satellite data could be an option as a complementary data source. There is a need for further capacity building and training in the use of satellite data in Myanmar.

For further and continued collaboration, all parties present agreed to a second technical workshop for young water professionals in Bangkok, Thailand after the “technical expert” training between HAII and DHI” planned for the 6th to 9th of December, 2016 (tentative).

Figure 3. Participants at the technical event on day 2                    Figure 4. Technical training on day 2

Figure 5. Technical training on day 2

To read the article by HAII on "Workshop in Myanmar: From Data and Information to Planning", please click here.