Rethinking our cities’ link to water

Water holds special symbolic significance in Thai culture, from Loy Krathong to Songkran festivals. But as much as we respect the value of water, we must also recognise that failure to care for our water resources puts our lives and wellbeing at risk.

Over the last four decades we have transformed the natural landscape of Thailand. As the country has become rapidly urbanised and industrialised, we have filled much of the floodplains, wetlands and even canals to turn water into land, so that we can build and expand our towns, cities and industrial parks.

In doing so there has been very little consideration of the potential risks of such changes. Yet these risks are intensifying. It is often said that the effects of climate will be felt through water, and that our cities and urbanised areas will be on frontline in dealing with climate vulnerabilities of floods and droughts.

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