Thailand is a tropical country which is part of the Indochina peninsula. Thailand is bordered in the north by the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), in the east by Lao PDR and Cambodia, in the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and in the west by the Andaman Sea and the Union of Myanmar (Thailand Population 2013). The total land area is about 512,000 km2. The current population as of 2013 within the Kingdom of Thailand is about 69.52 million people, which is an approximate 6.2% increase from the population taken in the 2010 census (Thailand Population 2013). Every year in this beautiful country flooding in Bangkok is a critical issue which impacts the people of Thailand.
Thailand is composed of several geographic regions with four main zones:
The fertile central region dominated by the Chao Phraya river; the drought and flood-prone,
poor, northeast plateau; the rugged northern region dominated by mountains and fertile
valleys; and the southern peninsular region characterized by rain forest (Weightman 423).
Flooding has always been part of the natural environment of Thailand. Since historical times populations that live within the urban and rural floodplains have learned of ways to adapt and survive (Balancing 2). With the economic development of many areas within the floodplain regions over the later part of the last century many areas have become further susceptible to seasonal rains and flooding.
During seasons with heavier than usual monsoon rains the floodwaters which overwhelm the floodplains and drainage systems are flowing from the central regions of the country down through the lower region of the Chao Phraya River and through the heavily populated capital city of Bangkok and then eventually on out to the sea. Bangkok is in a precarious position according to a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Bangkok is ranked as the seventh most vulnerable port city in the world in terms of
population exposed to coastal flooding. This is due to the fact that the city is on average
only a meter above sea level (although some areas are already below it) and that it is located
next to the Gulf of Thailand, which has been rising a quarter of a centimeter annually. To
compound the problem, Bangkok is sinking on its own: the enormous amount of water used by
the city's residents lowers the water table, causing the layers of clay below to subside (Waltham 6).
Smith Dharmasaroja, chairman of the Committee of National Disaster Warning Administration, ominously warned in 2007, "We feel that with the ground sinking and the sea water rising, Bangkok will be under sea water in the next 15 to 20 years--permanently." (Marks)
The sea level and tides can also impede the drainage process extending the duration of the flood period for several weeks which contributes to the economic devastation. During a flooding episode in 2011 according to the...