HM King of Thailand donates money to launch water management foundation
BANGKOK, April 23
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has donated Bt84 million (US$2.7 million) of his own money to establish a foundation to solve water management problems in the country.
Dr Sumet Tantivejkul, chairman of the newly-established foundation under the Royal Patronage of HM the King, disclosed the information on Monday.
Named Utokapat, the foundation will be a special agency focusing on cooperation with other major water agencies. Utok means water and Pat is an abbreviated form of Pattana meaning development in Thai.
The monarch granted the Great Crown of Victory emblem to be used as the symbol of the foundation.
It is the first water-related foundation under the king’s patronage and its official opening ceremony will be on Wednesday, Dr Sumet said.
Royal Chitradon, director of the Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute, said earlier that the foundation will promote cooperation among water management agencies to work in tandem, suitable for each particular area after the problems were seen in last year’s mega flooding.
The foundation will also work as a research unit and provide research funds, the director said, adding that there is not much research on water issues in Thailand.
Existing water research is mostly case studies or lessons from particular incidents but there have been no new studies related to integrated water management such as a study on releasing water from several dams at the same time, Mr Royal said.