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Water 2017, 9(1), 1; doi:10.3390/w9010001

The Impact of Para Rubber Expansion on Streamflow and Other Water Balance Components of the Nam Loei River Basin, Thailand

Department of Water Resources Engineering, Faculty of Engineer, Kasetsart University, Ngam Wong Wan Rd., Lat Yao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Forestry Research Center, Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Land Development Department, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1054, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Karim Abbaspour
Received: 15 October 2016 / Revised: 5 December 2016 / Accepted: 14 December 2016 / Published: 22 December 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4910 KB, uploaded 22 December 2016]   |  


At present, Para rubber is an economical crop which provides a high priced product and is in demand by global markets. Consequently, the government of Thailand is promoting the expansion of Para rubber plantations throughout the country. Traditionally, Para rubber was planted and grown only in the southern areas of the country. However, due to the Government’s support and promotion as well as economic reasons, the expansion of Para rubber plantations in the northeast has increased rapidly. This support has occurred without accounting for suitable cultivation of Para rubber conditions, particularly in areas with steep slopes and other factors which have significant impacts on hydrology and water quality. This study presents the impacts of Para rubber expansion by applying the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) hydrological model on the hydrology and water balance of the Nam Loei River Basin, Loei Province. The results showed that the displacement of original local field crops and disturbed forest land by Para rubber production resulted in an overall increase of evapotranspiration (ET) of roughly 3%. The major factors are the rubber canopy and precipitation. Moreover, the water balance results showed an annual reduction of about 3% in the basin average water yield, especially during the dry season. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrologic balance; SWAT model; land use change; evapotranspiration; plant parameters hydrologic balance; SWAT model; land use change; evapotranspiration; plant parameters

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wangpimool, W.; Pongput, K.; Tangtham, N.; Prachansri, S.; Gassman, P.W. The Impact of Para Rubber Expansion on Streamflow and Other Water Balance Components of the Nam Loei River Basin, Thailand. Water 2017, 9, 1.

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