Monday, June 6, 2016

Zaung Tu Weir Observation Checking (May 25, 2016)

The observation was installed almost two months ago. However, there were some problems encountered in the collected data. Due to this, efforts were made to recheck the instrument and analyze the reason for the problem. The checking was participated by Dr. Ralph Allen Acierto, Dr. Zaw Zaw Latt (ID Officer), and two YTU students – Ms. Shelly Win and Ms. Su Wai Thin as shown in Figure 7.  The group checked the set-up, instrument, connections, data collection, and data archiving functions of the observation system. Finally, the problem was diagnosed to be due to the connections. The problem was fixed. Every aspect was checked in the data collection including the data archiving to the UTokyo server. This experience on the observation checking will be translated to a manual for the succeeding checks and succeeding installation of the other observations for the telemetry system to be established in Bago River Basin.

Checking of the operation of the weather station at Zaung Tu Weir with YTU students and ID Officer
In the afternoon, additional discussions with Daw Khon Ra (Director of Irrigation Department), Dr. Aung Than Oo (Assistant Director of Irrigation Department), Dr. Win Win Zin (YTU), and Dr. Akiyuki Kawasaki was facilitated in YTU to discuss other issues for the succeeding installations of the telemetry system in Bago River Basin.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Global Water Partnership’s High Level Roundtable Meeting for Water Security and SDGs in Myanmar (May 24, 2016)

The High Level Meeting was organized primarily by Global Water Partnership (GWP) in coordination with Office of the UN Secretary-Generals’ Special Envoy on Disaster Risk Reduction and Water and Government of Myanmar. The High Level meeting aims to further endorse and strengthen the role of water as main foundation in national development agenda in Myanmar. This is done by convening professionals and institutions in the region with various experience and knowledge with key water-related Ministers and members of the Water Think Tank in Myanmar in the discussion of ensuring water security and achieving sustainable development goals in the country and in South East Asia. This is to further the improvement of governance and management of water resources for water security that can lead to a sustainable and equitable development in the country and region. The Round Table Meeting was focused on five SDGs, namely SDG 5 (Gender), SDG 6 (Water and Sanitation), SDG 11 (Cities), SDG 13 (Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction), SDG 17 (Partnerships).

Group Photo taken at the High Level meeting at Inya Lake
The welcome address was delivered by Deputy Union Minister U Kyaw Myo from the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Myanmar. He stressed the importance of water in the lives of the people and how water insecurity can have negative impacts that may lead eventually to crisis. Due to this, he emphasize the role of water as the “basis of all economic development activities” and the importance of understanding the “water-energy-food nexus” in order to “boost the sustainable development in Myanmar”. He concluded his speech by saying that the meeting was a positive development and expressed his gratitude to the participants. Congratulatory remarks were given by Dr. Jennifer Sara (Global Water Practice Director, World Bank Group), and by Dr. Koji Ikeuchi (Vice Minister, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan).

Photo (left image) during congratulatory remarks delivered by Dr. Koji Ikeuchi (Vice Minister of  Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan) and Climate Change and Disaster Risk Resilience Roundtable led by Professor Toshio Koike (right image)
Four keynote addresses were delivered in the meeting. The keynote speakers were Dr. Kenzo Hiroki (Special Advisor, United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation), Dr. Khin Ni Ni Thein (Secretary of Myanmar Water Think Tank, Water Security and new Economic policy in Myanmar), Mrs. Kenza Robinson (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs), and Drs. Koos Wieriks (Strategic Advisor Water Management, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of the Netherlands). Afterwards, each group facilitated round table discussions for SDG 5 (Gender), SDG 6 (Water and Sanitation), SDG 11 (Cities), SDG 13 (Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction), and SDG 17 (Partnerships). Each group was tasked to discuss the recommendations and corresponding rationale in dealing with the water security and achieving the SDGs in Myanmar and South East Asia. A background paper as a result of the meeting can be found in GWP website to summarize the proceedings. Dr. Akiyuki Kawasaki and Dr. Ralph Allen Acierto participated in the round table discussion as representatives of University of Tokyo and part of SATREPs project. Dr. Kawasaki was designated on SDG 11- Cities, while Dr. Acierto was assigned to SDG 13 Climate Change and DRR. Lastly, Dr. Toshio Koike led and summarized the discussion on the SDG 13 table tackling Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction. The High Level meeting paves the road in mainstreaming the importance of dealing with water security issues and achieving SDGs in the national development agenda of the new administration in Myanmar.

The background paper on the meeting can be accessed to this link  below:
Accessed on 31May2016

Friday, June 3, 2016

Kalawe Bridge Site Visit for Future Water Level Monitoring (May 22, 2016)

The site visit at Kalawe Bridge was participated by UTokyo members (Dr. Akiyuki Kawasaki and Dr. Ralph Allen Acierto), YTU members (Dr. Win Win Zin and Ms. Su Wai Thin), and DWIR (Mr. Aung Kyaw Hmuu, Yangon Region Director and two other assistants). The visit was proposed to check the site condition at Kalawe Bridge and to discuss potential location of the installation of instrument. Water level monitoring was proposed on this site for the acquisition of water level data for flood modeling purposes and for the establishment of a telemetry system in Bago River basin. There will be two water level instruments that will be used for this site - floating-type water level gauge and a radar-type water level instrument. The installation of two instrument types seek to compare the performance of using advanced radar-type against the floating-type. The project also aims to showcase the usage of the advanced radar-type water level monitoring if found successful. The usage of floating-type water level will be used as base comparison with the measurements from the radar-type in addition to possible manual water level monitoring.

Figure 1. Location of Kalawe Bridge at the downstream part of Bago River basin( left image, source: GoogleMap, accessed on 31May2016) and discussion on site conditions for water level monitoring between UTokyo, YTU, and DWIR (right image)
The potential site for installation was identified as pier 5 and pier 8 of the Kalawe Bridge as shown in Figure 3. Pier 5 was proposed due to easier and closer access from the river bank while the Pier 8 was proposed due to less sedimentation problem as it is located almost near the middle of the river width. Each of the proposed area is currently considered and will be discussed further.

Figure 2. Discussion of potential location of the water level monitoring observation at the site 

In addition to the planned water level monitoring on the site,  a site in Figure 3 (encircled by a red rectangle) was also selected for potential location of additional camera observation for velocity measurements and tidal effects investigation as shown.

Figure 3. Potential site for video monitoring of tidal effects (left image) downstream of Bago River and location’s vantage point of the bridge with annotation of the potential location of the instrument (right image)

After the site visit at the Kalawe Bridge, a succeeding meeting with the DWIR counterparts was done in the DWIR office in Yangon as shown in Figure 4. The meeting was primarily attended by Mr. Aung Kyaw Hmuu (Yangon Region Director, DWIR), Mr. Aung Myo Khaing (Component 3 Director, AIRBM Project DWIR), Mr. Ko Ko Oo (Deputy Director General, DWIR), two other DWIR staff officers, Dr. Akiyuki Kawasaki, Dr. Ralph Allen Acierto, Dr. Win Win Zin (YTU), and Ms. Su Wai Thin (YTU student). Director General U Htun Lwin Oo of DWIR briefly joined the meeting but he had to leave for another meeting. Initially, the planned meeting with Director General of DWIR was scheduled for next day (23 May 2016). The UTokyo group explained the planned installation of the instrument and the characteristics of the instruments to be installed. Issues related to the installation and maintenance of the installed observation were discussed. DWIR counterparts had indicated support for the planned installation and maintenance. The group concluded the meeting with the necessary procedures and summary of concerns for the future installation in the next dry season.

Figure 4. Coordination Meeting with DWIR Officers