1. Background and objectives

The National Dialogue on Water in Thailand aims to support adjustments in water resources management, building on the agenda that Thailand has embarked upon in recent years (e.g. the new Water Resources Act, and the Master Plan on Water Resources Management). Representatives from ONWR (Office of the National Water Resource) and other Thai stakeholders have indicated that it is a priority to address the policy, institutional, financial and technical challenges related to enhancing water security and improving efficiency in Thailand, particularly in the rapidly developing Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC)1.

The Dialogue’s scope is confined to two main topics, which reflect initial discussions with the Government of Thailand (e.g. ONWR) and Thai stakeholders:

  1. 1. Water demand management – This includes a particular focus on improving water allocation regimes in the EEC and the design of economic instruments such as water tariffs and water charges to incentivise behaviour change. Further discussions with Thai authorities highlighted the following priorities:

    • Robust water allocation regime to minimise conflicts during scarcity time in the EEC, including cost-effective compensation measures to inter-basin water transfers

    • Reuse of treated wastewater for households, agriculture and industry in the EEC, in particular how to improve and incentivise the perception of potential water re-use users in all sectors.

  2. 2. Financing water supply and sanitation – This includes a focus on taxes and tariffs for water supply and sanitation services, in coordination with policies and incentives to enhance the performance of utilities and independent economic regulation in this domain. More specifically, Thai authorities requested recommendations on:

    • Benchmarking the performance of water utilities in the country

    • An additional variable in the new tariff for funding compensation measures for users who have been affected by planned water security measures

    • Best practices and examples of blended finance for water supply and sanitation services.

These topics are the focus of the analysis of water-related policy, financing and institutions (OECD-led), in parallel with analysis of relevant water technologies and innovation (AWC-led).

Thai authorities have shared with project partners a background report that characterises the state of play as regards the two topics listed above. They also provided detailed information in response to a questionnaire put together by the project partners. Building on this knowledge base, the project partners sketched a list of issues to be investigated further in the context of the Dialogue, in order to address the two main topics. This document builds on information compiled and previous conversations on these issues.


← 1. The EEC is a special economic zone off the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, which encompasses the three provinces of Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao and is facing significant water security and water demand challenges.

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