Locals fear water conflict as new industrial boom arrives along Thailand’s eastern seaboard

A new industrial boom is bringing high-tech investments to eastern Thailand. But in this drought-prone landscape, is there enough water to go around?

As Thailand embarks on an ambitious industrialisation drive along its eastern seaboard, local communities and conservationists fear a brewing war over water.

The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Development Plan is a long-term public project aiming to accelerate development in eastern Thailand, namely three provinces – Rayong, Chonburi and Chachoengsao. 

It is attracting global investors in priority sectors to power a national strategy – Thailand 4.0. The types of industries being targeted include next-generation automotive, biotechnologies, AI, robotics, automation and aerospace from countries like Japan, Singapore and China.

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Jack Board