Water and maritime
The Netherlands has been challenging water for centuries. As a low-lying country, we have to protect ourselves against flooding and nowadays more and more against the impact of extreme weather, drought and freshwater shortages.
The cooperation on water with Thailand dates back a century ago, where Dutch and Thai experts already worked together. In 1902 King Rama V. ordered to set up the "Canals Department", giving it the responsibility for canal maintenance to keep waterways open and accessible.
At that time, Mr. Yehoman van der Heide, was a Dutch expert studying irrigation in Thailand. King Rama V appointed Yehoman van der Heide as the first Director General of the Canals Department of Thailand.
Nowadays, the Canals Department has developed into the Royal Irrigation Department; a government agency responsible for all water related activities under the ministry of agriculture. Ever since, the Netherlands and Thailand work together on water resources management.