Water Security in the Eastern Economic Corridor

Written on .

During 14-16 September 2022, the only International Exhibition and Conference on Water and Wastewater Technology, took place at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok, in partnership with the ASEAN Sustainable Energy Week on renewable energy, energy efficiency and environment and EV technology.

This international conference and exhibition on water attracts more than 13,000 visitors and brings together companies and solution providers from 25 countries and over 50 experts to discuss the future of water and wastewater technologies.

The Thailand government is promoting factories across the country to implement technologies that improve the efficiency of water usage and encourages industrial estates countrywide to improve their wastewater treatment systems.

Smart water management, alongside the 3 R’s of Environment – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and Internet of Things (IoT) are essential approaches that can provide businesses, especially factories, a more efficient and resilient water supply system, improving sustainability and reducing costs by reusing water, reducing water losses and recycling resources and wastewater with the help of IoT that monitors quality and consumption in real time.

Part of the event was the regional conference on the topic of “Enhancing the Capability of Water Resource Management to cope with Climate Change in the post COP26 era”. Key industry players, policy makers, innovators, academics and experts met to discuss and share their vision and solutions on water and wastewater management for urban and industrial areas in response to climate change after last year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow 2021 (COP26).

Mr. Chuchat Saitin, the Managing Director of Amata Water Company Limited, and Director of Water and Environment Institute for Sustainability (WEIS), The Federation of Thai Industries, joined in his capacity as one of Thailand’s leading experts in water and wastewater management.

In his presentation at the conference, he emphasized on water security management in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) of Thailand. The Thai government has mandated a policy to develop the EEC, which comprises Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao provinces. Their objective is to make the EEC the best and most modern economic area within ASEAN.

Today, the eastern region of Thailand already has many factors contributing to its economic development; deep-sea ports, airports, major transportation routes, tourist attractions on land and at sea are all significant contributors to economic growth.
When the EEC region is fully developed within the next twenty years or so, many more people will relocate to the area, adding to the already densely populated and urbanized coastal area in Chonburi and Rayong provinces, and in the existing industrial clusters.

This population growth will fuel an ever-increasing demand for water in all sectors. Overall demand for water is expected to rise by up to 3 billion cubic meters by 2037, making it a major consideration for ambitious development plans.
 
Water in the EEC region is not abundantly available; rapid urbanization and industrialization is increasing pressure on rural water supplies, whilst consistent water supply is for agriculture one of the most important factors. In recent years, the EEC area experienced major droughts; and with changing rainfall patterns due to climate change, droughts are expected to become more frequent and severe.  

The ability to provide adequate and reliable quantities of water for sustaining livelihoods and socio-economic development, now and in the future, is challenging the Government and will be a critical factor influencing success or failure of the EEC project, said Mr. Chuchat. 

He added that to successfully achieve water security, multi-sector collaboration, supported by senior leadership, is necessary to develop an understanding of the problem and to disseminate a clear strategy that integrates various aspects such engineering, technology, policy, economics and society.

Speaking in his role of managing water and wastewater for Amata industrial estates in the EEC, Mr. Chuchat said that Amata was possibly the first Thailand company to recognize the advantages of recycled wastewater as an additional water source, in place of naturally sourced water.

Amata Water, an affiliate of Amata Public Corporation Limited recently completed a number of renewable energy projects across its two flagship industrial estates in Thailand – Amata City Chonburi and Amata City Rayong.

The projects, which consist of solar energy generation, are both floating solar and ground mounted solar farms add an impressive 2,152 kWp of capacity to Amata’s green energy portfolio and were rolled out last year to power water treatment facilities. The floating solar projects have been deployed atop Amata’s water reservoirs located within its estates.

The company is charging ahead with several more floating solar projects which are set to come online next year to fully utilize water reservoirs surfaces for floating solar.

“Amata cares deeply about environmental conservation, responsible and sustainable development as part of the legacy we give the next generation” Mr. Chuchat said. “Amata continues to think of new and revolutionary ways in which we can reduce carbon emissions and we strive to be a market leader in this regard” he added.

Mr. Chuchat Saitin brings a wealth of experience from engineering and management, including industrial park construction, dam construction and water and wastewater management in Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar. He has become a sought-after speaker in water conferences to share his experience and studies in water and wastewater management and recycling in particular. Amata's wastewater treatment plants recycle over 40 percent of all wastewater collected, and all treated wastewater is fully recycled inside the industrial estates.

As the director of the Water and Environment Institute for Sustainability, an organization under the Federation of Thai Industries, he contributes his time and efforts to support the country to achieve water security in the EEC.

Start building the Future
with Amata