Floods and droughts are climate extremes that account for more than 80% of people affected by natural disasters worldwide. Both catastrophes co-exist in many river basins, for example, the Mun River Basin in Thailand, which is selected as the study area. Approximately 90% of rice cultivation here is rain-fed, and that results in the lowest yields in the country, making many farmers persist in poverty. This study aims to assess floods and droughts and their impacts on agriculture at the basin scale. For flooding, the hydrologic and hydraulic models were developed to produce the first completed flood hazard maps at the Mun River Basin. Droughts in the basin were determined by the proposed drought risk assessment scheme that combines all three key components (hazard, exposure, and vulnerability). Subsequently, the study attempts to tackle both floods and droughts simultaneously and sustainably by using integrated measures and strategies. If the problems caused by flood and drought climate extremes are solved, this will ensure adequate food availability and alleviate poverty in the basin. Furthermore, the study shows that a holistic approach to simultaneously solving both problems is efficient as most water will be utilized to benefit agriculture, the primary sector that feeds a growing population.
General introduction, Study area: the Mun River Basin, Thailand, Climate variability, trends, and their impacts on rice yields, Flood hazard assessment, Drought hazard assessment, Flood and drought mitigation measures and strategies, Synthesis and main contributions & prospects of further research.
IHE Delft PhD programme leads to a deepening of a field of specialisation. PhD fellows do scientific research, often with conclusions that directly influence their region. At IHE Delft, PhD researchers from around the world participate in problem-focused and solution-oriented research on development issues, resulting in an inspiring research environment. PhD fellows work together with other researchers from many countries dealing with topics related to water and the environment.
PhD research is often carried out in the ‘sandwich’ model. Preparation and final reporting – the first and last portion of the programme – are carried out in Delft, while actual research is done in the fellow’s home country, under co-supervision of a local institute. Regular contacts with the promotor are maintained through visits and long-distance communication. This enables researchers to employ solutions directly to problems in their geographical region.
IHE Delft PhD degrees are awarded jointly with a university. The degrees are highly valued and fully recognised in all parts of the world.