MEASURES TO ACHIEVE THE POLICY GOALS: WATER SUPPLY/RESOURCE
Goal 1: To reduce water usage from external sources by 20% in 2026 compared to 2021
Goal 2: To develop facilities to harvest 20% more rainwater and greywater in 2026 than in 2021
On our campus, we maintain a robust system of canals and reservoirs designed for efficient rainwater harvesting and storage. This system is meticulously managed to prevent the accumulation of pollutants and the wastage of rainwater. Instead of allowing it to simply runoff, we actively collect and store rainwater. This collected water is then utilized for the irrigation of the campus grounds, significantly reducing our reliance on tap water.
The campus of AIT boasts an intricate closed-loop canal network, enabling the effective storage of rainwater, especially for use during the dry seasons. Our lush landscapes and greenery thrive on this self-sustained water supply. Moreover, AIT features its very own reservoir, spanning 23.31 acres with depths ranging from 1 meter to 2.5 meters. Additionally, the campus houses an outer canal area spanning 77,341.04 square meters, with depths varying from 0.5 to 2 meters across different sections.
Since July 2012, AIT has also been operating its own wastewater treatment facility. This advanced system is responsible for collecting all sewage water produced within the campus. Following a thorough treatment process, the reclaimed water is reintegrated into AIT’s canal system and repurposed for the nurturing of our campus gardens.
The Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) of the Asian Institute of Technology with operation capacity : 1500 m3/day was constructed in 2012 by the Ranhill Water Technologies (Thai) LTD (RWTT), with the concept of BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) Agreement. As per the agreement dated 22 June 2011, RWTT would construct the plant, operate, and maintain the plant during the payback period. The construction of the AIT WWP was completed on 18 July 2012. Since then Ranhill has been running the plant to treat wastewater collected from the AIT campus. On 1 January 2019, the waste water treatment plant ownership was transferred from RWTT to AIT. Since then AIT contracted RWTT to operate and provide maintenance services.
The WWTP collects the wastewater from the 133.12 hectares AIT campus which comprises both residential and academic areas, through 13 sewage pump sumps located throughout the campus. The water is treated as per the THAI obligation of the water treatment control standards of the Ministry of Science as per the below table.
The treated water which is maintained safe to avoid any kind of pollution is sent from the WWTP into the AIT canal system and partially to the external Canal / Klong in Klong Lunag. To save the piped water supply, the canal water in turn is used for watering the plants throughout the campus through a sprinkler system. Treated water helps to maintain the water level in canals and thereby also helps to maintain an aqua ecosystem in canals in the dry season.
Typically, freshwater wetland environments (canals, ponds, lakes, etc) in cities are easier available for tree planting than already overused and occupied terrestrial areas (parks, roadside green areas, etc): hence, these underutilized wet areas can be more effectively used by mangrove trees, as one mangrove tree is known to be equivalent to 6-8 conventional land trees in terms of C storage. Mangroves (inland-freshwater) are important to be promoted wherever possible, particularly in cities, because they are not only very biologically diverse ecosystems but exceptional carbon sequesters (up to 6-8 times greater than even highly productive rainforest trees). That is why they are major potential tools in global Biodiversity Loss and Climate Change mitigation and adaptation. Many, if not the majority, of tropical and subtropical cities are extensively freshwater environments:
hence, the relevance, usefulness, and importance of the further freshwater mangrove introduction.
The current project promotes ‘Botanical Garden Campus for Net Zero’ by 3 key eco-services (to mention just a few):
Enhanced C storage and sequestration towards the Net Zero emissions balance
Enhanced sanitation towards better and superior surface water quality
Enhanced biodiversity, both botanical and zoological, towards more amenable environment.
Mangrove Museum Related news : https://ait.ac.th/2020/07/freshwater-mangrove-museum-established-to-enhance-campus-health-and-sustainability/
AIT has a large closed loop canal system with many species of fishes and organisms. These water are the main source of water for the gardening needs of the whole campus. So its important that the quality of the water is maintained. Canal systems are particularly vulnerable to oxygenation problems. Reduced flow, increased depth, and isolation from the main waterbody cause low oxygen. Surface aerators push water from under the water’s surface up into the air, then the droplets fall back into the water, mixing in oxygen. The jets of water break the surface with varying degrees of force. Aeration reduces the variability experienced in these systems while improving water quality for a sustainable ecosystem.
Within AIT, there exists a dedicated reservoir, covering an expansive 23.31-acre area, featuring depths that fluctuate between 1 meter and 2.5 meters. Complementing this reservoir is an outer closed loop canal area that spans 77,341.04 square meters across the campus, where depths range from 0.5 to 2.5 meters in different segments. The harvested rainwater serves the vital purpose of irrigating the extensive gardens and landscapes across the majority of the campus, substantially reducing our reliance on tap or freshwater sources. In areas where sprinklers are not present, the canal water is efficiently pumped into water tankers for the purpose of watering plants and trees. Below map show the wide spread sprinkler system around the campus and some pictures of the sprinkler around the campus and pumps. Water Sprinklers are scheduled for limited period of time as required by the kind of plants and garden spaces to conserve efficient water usage.