Author(s): Sujata Manandhar; Weerayuth Pratoomchai; Keisuke Ono; So Kazama; Daisuke Komori
Linked Author(s): So Kazama
Keywords: Climate change; Drought; Rainfall; Water resources
Abstract: Climate change is predicted to increase, characterized by extreme events such as drought, in Thailand. The scientific agreement that climate change is happening and its impacts will continue has reiterated the need to plan adaptation strategies, for which investigating local peoples’perceptions of drought is fundamental. Despite its importance, earlier studies have not given much importance to perception studies in Thailand. Therefore, this study attempts to investigate the local peoples’perceptions of drought, considering Yang Luang village of mountainous Mae Chaem River Basin in Northern Thailand as a case study. It uses both qualitative and quantitative methods. Peoples’perception is further verified using observed rainfall data. Results show that majority of local people have perceived climate change, primarily changes in rainfall intensity, number of rainy days and timing in last two decades. In general, dry season is a common natural phenomenon in Thailand that occurs every year from November to April. The local people have experienced an increase in severity of dryness in the recent decade, which was reported as drought. The perception of drought is largely shaped by rainfall shifts in recent years (2010 and 2011) and is strongly associated with lack of water storage and scarcity in the area. However, their adaptation status is poor. Verification of results using observed rainfall data confirms the extreme rainfall delays in aforementioned years. It also shows decreasing trend in number of rainy days in last thirty years. In general, investigation of people’s perceptions complemented by observed data analysis helped to rigorously understand the climate change, drought and ongoing adaptations. It will further guide to lay the foundation for adaptation measures to counteract possible droughts impacts in future.