Exploring opportunities to expand groundwater use for livelihood enhancement and climate change adaptation in Laos

Mrs. Pheng waters her garden in Ekxang Village (Photo: Madeline Dahm)
Project code
AUD 249,927
Project leader
Dr. Paul Pavelic, International Water Management Institute
Commissioned organisation
International Water Management Institute
JUN 2019
DEC 2020
Project status
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This project aimed to explore the opportunities for sustainable development of groundwater resources within the three major aquifer typologies of Southern Laos for improved livelihoods and climate resilience. 

Earlier ACIAR research, particularly LWR/2010/081, examined opportunities to sustainably develop groundwater in Laos to enhance food security, livelihoods and support climate resilient farming systems. The research found substantial promise for groundwater development in Laos. However, further work is needed to better understand how groundwater irrigation can support agricultural development in drought-prone Southern Laos. This project will examine the three most promising aquifer typologies in the lowlands of Southern Laos.

Project outcomes

  • Determining the potential to develop groundwater for irrigation and how this would benefit livelihoods and climate resilience in Southern Laos.
  • Understanding how groundwater planning and development is practiced in Southern Laos and what the major gaps are.
  • Discovering how groundwater pumping can be made more profitable to smallholder farmers through solar power and what the major constraints are.
Map of Laos