In the late 1970s, the Australian Government’s Aid Agency and Myanmar’s Rural Water Supply Division (RWSP) of the Agricultural Mechanisation Department (AMD) were conducting a Groundwater Resource Assessment for the Central Dry Zone of Myanmar. The study was extremely comprehensive—covering over 50,000km2 and serving about a quarter of Myanmar’s population. However, the almost-complete study was never published because of the political climate of the time.
Earlier this year, Lead Hydrogeologist Dr. Len Drury from Aqua Rock Konsultants returned to Myanmar with the support of the Australian Water Partnership (AWP) to update the assessment of groundwater systems in the area, describing the location, characteristics and nature of various aquifers and hydrogeologic features. The book includes detailed figures, maps, recent estimates of water storage, water balance models, and recommendations for management and future hydrogeological research. Over 30 years later, the book was launched at a momentous ceremony in Myanmar’s capital, Nay Pyi Taw, in October 2017.
Being the most comprehensive assessment of the Dry Zone’s hydrogeology, even the draft version of the unpublished report has been taught in many universities in Myanmar according to Robyn Johnston, a previous IWMI representative who helped facilitate the assessment. Upon his return to complete the assessment and publish the book, Dr. Drury was inspired by how many local hydrogeologists and drillers of Myanmar enthusiastically came to show support.
The open-source book, as well as a summary, can be downloaded for free from AWP Publications. It was crafted and edited with help from scientists at:
- The International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
- Irrigation and Water Utilization Department (IWUMD) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI)
- International Centre of Environmental Management (ICEM)
- Australian Water Partnership (AWP)
- World Bank Ayeyarwady Integrated River Basin Management Project (AIRBMP)
- Aqua Rock Konsultants (ARK)
For free download of the book: https://waterpartnership.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Hydrogeology-of-the-Dry-Zone-Central-Myanmar.pdf