Groundwater expertise for Laos

water-from-well-cropped-040412Visiting water scientists from Laos have added to their expertise by undertaking an Australian Groundwater School short course, and have also made preliminary links with researchers at Flinders.

The trio were environmental scientist Mr Kanya Souksakoun, engineer Mr Khaykeo Keokhamphui (both from the National University of Laos), and Ms Bounyaseng Sengkhammy, chief of the Environment Resources Centre in the Ministry of National Resources and Environment.

They attended the intensive course on the fundamentals of groundwater science, technology and management. The Australian Groundwater School is run by the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, based at Flinders.

Professor Craig Simmons, Director of the NCGRT, said that managing groundwater resources is a global issue.

“While the NCGRT courses have an Australian focus, our programs are also designed to contribute to the dissemination of groundwater science internationally,” Professor Simmons said.

Ms Sengkhammy said that understanding groundwater systems was of special importance in Laos, where much of the population is still reliant on groundwater for their drinking supplies. She said contamination from chemicals, including arsenic, was a major issue of concern.

The initial impetus for the visit came from Flinders graduate and former student of Professor Simmons, Dr Paul Pavelic, who is now Senior Researcher and Office Head of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Andhra Pradesh, India. The visit was supported by the Crawford Fund.

In addition to attending the short course, the visitors toured research laboratories and met academics from water-related courses and research centres in the School of the Environment.

The visitors expressed a strong interest in exploring further academic and research links with Flinders, particularly in the area of postgraduate research projects relating to groundwater and environmental health.

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2 thoughts on “Groundwater expertise for Laos

  1. Dear sir,
    My name is Keophousone PHONHALATH, I am fresh graduated as PhD of geological engineering from Gadjah Mada University, in field of groundwater engineering. Therefore I am now working in Civil Engineering Department, Environmental Engineering field, National University of Laos.

    According to above, it is great network for groundwater researches which groundwater resource is importation for rural development in Laos.

    Therefore there are two hydrogeologists in our department, one PhD is from Indonesia as me and one master is from Philippines which we lecture on Groundwater Engineering course and we did groundwater modeling in our postgraduate study in past. Thus we would like produce some students who interesting in groundwater. However, we would like to have a network with groundwater research center, in order to improve our lecture and research works in groundwater field.

    Looking forward to here from you.

    Best Regards,
    Dr. Keophousone PHONHALATH
    Lecturer of Civil Engineering Deparment
    Faculty of Engineering
    National University of Laos

  2. Thank you for your correspondence. Flinders University offers a number of undergraduate topics dealing with groundwater and a series of postgraduate courses based on internal and external coursework studies. Information regarding these courses and the topics they include are readily available on our web pages. I suggest you examine this information and if you have any interest in the topics we teach or the courses we offer and see a possible connection with your university, please feel free to contact me at

    Dr Michael Teubner
    Course Coordinator, postgraduate courses in Groundwater Hydrology

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