Bangkok (22 July 2019) – TCP Group, the manufacturer and distributor of Krating Daeng (Red Bull), Ready, Som Plus, Sponsor, Mansome, Puriku and Warrior brand beverages as well as Sun Snack snacks, today, announced the launch of ‘‘TCP Embracing Thailand’s River Basin’ project which aims to promote sustainable development of water resources, environment, and local communities. The project focuses on the water security for consumption, including the better livelihood, and local economy to ensure the long term and sustain the farmers’ income.
Mr. Saravoot Yoovhidhya, Chief Executive Officer, TCP Group, said, “Water is an important resource that is essential for life. There is an increasing water demand in the agricultural and industrial sectors every year and water related problems such as floods and drought become more serious impact to our country. TCP Group is one of the organisations that have water as the core material for production. We, therefore, emphasize the water resource conservation as the framework of our sustainable development programme. The TCP Embracing Thailand’s River Basin’ project was initiated to manage Thailand’s water resources in all aspects for our sustainability goals. It is for local communities to have surface water and groundwater for consumption which aim to increase over 12 million cubic metres of water supply in the next five years (2019-2023).”
Thus, the TCP Embracing Thailand’s River Basin project has partnered with Utokapat Foundation under the Royal Patronage of HM the King and HII to manage water resources in Yom river basin and Prachin Buri river basin before expanding their work to cover other river basins around the country. There are plans to work with more expert water agencies in the public and private sectors such as the Groundwater Resources Research Institute of Khon Kaen University, to support studies how to increase groundwater levels and to ensure the abundance surface water.
In the past, TCP Group has worked closely with Utokapat Foundation and HII in managing surface water sources in Phrae and Prachinburi. The success of that collaboration has inspired and motivated all partners to work in this project, the TCP Embracing Thailand’s River Basin, the further water source development in Yom and Prachin Buri river basins following the H.M. the King Rama IX’s initiative to solve floods and drought situations. This project aims to complete the water balance for local communities, and to secure consumption water all year round. In the future, the project will expand to all the 25 river basins of Thailand to promote long-term water security.
Dr. Sumet Tantivejkul, Chairman of Utokapat Foundation under the Royal Patronage of H.M. the King, said, “Currently, the awareness of the importance of rainfall, water retention and water supply is very crucial. Our foundation has the duty to support and share the good practices of water resource management following the H.M. the King Rama IX’s initiative leaded to the Sustainable Development. We have worked with the TCP Embracing Thailand’s River Basin project on the framework of ‘understand-access- develop’. It is the self-reliance approach for community development to natural resource management; soil, water and forest, at the community level and the river basin level, respectively.
According to HII, the current situation, Thailand has 754,730 million cubic metres of annual rainfall but inflow only 43,000 million cubic metres or 5.7% of rainfall which covers only 17% of the country. Moreover, more than 100,000 million cubic metres per year of water demand and over 36,000 villages of non-irrigation areas are the urgent agenda.
Dr. Sutat Weesakul, Director of the Hydro Informatics Institute (Public Organization) or HII, said, “HII and the TCP Embracing Thailand’s River Basin project have worked together to promote and support the self-reliance approach of community water source management and development applying the science and technology to decrease the floods and drought. These releases will restore and reconstruct the community water resources’ structures and management. Initially, we will start working in six provinces in two river basin areas, namely Phrae, Sukhothai, Phichit, Sa Kaeo, Prachinburi and Nakhon Nayok.”
Groundwater is the water resource that many communities have to depend on for agriculture and consumption because they are non- irrigated areas and use groundwater to produce community water supply. But the groundwater development without concern of groundwater sustainability has led to a decline of groundwater level in many areas. This problem affects both the quantity and quality of groundwater and also increase on pumping costs.
Mr. Saravoot said, “While groundwater is not the source of water used in TCP Group, we attach importance to Management of Aquifer Recharge (MAR) in tandem with executing our Embracing Thailand’s River Basin project. It is out of our concern for water in all dimensions. So, we have worked together with the Groundwater Resources Research Institute of Khon Kaen University to study and evaluate the potential of each area in the development and implementation of MAR as we share knowledge on groundwater with local residents.”
Dr. Phayom Saraphirom, Director of the Groundwater Resources Research Institute of Khon Kaen University, said, “At present, groundwater usage is higher than conserve groundwater sustainability, causing 2-dimension impact. The continual decline of groundwater levels means farmers or communities have to lower the pump base installation level to achieve the pumping capacity, otherwise they have to change the pump to higher capacity or drill the deeper well to reach groundwater levels. This practice resulted in the increase of pumping cost by 2-3 times.
Thus, it is a good opportunity in joining the ‘TCP Embracing Thailand’s River Basin’ Project to find solutions for groundwater management and alleviate water shortage and drought by harvesting excess water during the rainy season for use during the dry season with MAR techniques, and by minimize the evaporation of conserve water for use in different seasons. We hope that our findings will provide knowledge on groundwater replenishment as we seek to return the balance to groundwater. Also, we will share our knowledge and understanding about groundwater conversation with local communities.”
“Under the 5-year plan of the ‘TCP Embracing Thailand’s River Basin project’ and its partners, we expect to be able to increase beneficially to more than 16,000 households living in 6 provinces around the Yom and Prachin Buri river basin areas reach over 12 million cubic metres of water supply for consumption. That’s more than three times the water used in the entire operation of TCP Group. We expect local people will generate more income after they have sufficient water for agriculture. TCP Group offered around Bht 100 million in funding for this project,” Mr. Saravoot said.
And to raise awareness on the project among the general public, TCP Group is planning to hold a volunteer activity through its TCP Spirit programme which focuses on working with new generation of volunteers; giving them chances to learn how elements around them inseparable depend on each other; and providing them a refreshing and fun hands-on learning experience.
The second year of TCP Spirit programme will organize the activity twice under the ‘River Basin Nursing’ concept. Nearly 200 volunteers will be dispatched to experience first-hand river basin problems. They will understand and work together to solve the problems on the spot. The knowledge gained and the effort will spark sustainable improvement on the matter. The first trip will take place in August in Nan province and the volunteers will wrap up their activity in October.