Abstract for: An Assessment of the Coupled Hydrology and Management of Northern Thailandís Water Resources in Extreme Climate Conditions

Thailandís Chao Phraya basin is prone to both flooding and drought and optimal means to mitigate those hazards are nonobvious. In 2011, Thailand experienced some of the worst flooding in its history in a year of record rainfalls, though a number of factors besides exceptional rainfall contribute to regional water-related problems. In the weeks leading up to the 2011 overtopping of the countryís largest dam, the Bhumibol, the managers unwaveringly released only a fraction of each dayís incoming water until the impending disaster struck. In part of this assessment, a simple System Dynamics model is constructed of the coupled hydrology and human decisionmaking in the operation of the Bhumibol reservoir. Counterintutitively, the model shows that the simple dam management policy employed likely minimized the severity of flooding during the 2011 season. However, in a future climate with differing levels of rainfall, the dam management policy would need to be modified. Another simple model was constructed to examine the governance of Thailandís second-largest dam, the Sirikit, during the drier conditions of 2014. Likewise, no evidence of dam mis-management was found for this facility. These models were combined and extended to include the entirety of the Chao Phraya river basin.