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Sinking Cities and Governmental Action: Institutional Responses to Land Subsidence in Osaka and Bangkok

  • Takahiro Endo

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to compare land subsidence policies in Osaka and Bangkok and provide some lessons from these two cases. Land subsidence can be regarded as an example of a social dilemma. Prevention of land subsidence is a common benefit for people who suffer flood or high tide risk. However, a group of people that share such a common benefit often fail to realize it voluntarily because each individual has an incentive to be a free-rider. Governmental intervention is an effective way to address this situation, because the government can force groundwater users to change their behavior. Indeed, this was why government intervention had taken place in Osaka and Bangkok. Various policies were implemented, including designation of critical areas, a permitted system of groundwater pumping, enforcement of technical standards, construction of waterworks and a groundwater charge system. Among these options, the most effective solution was the construction of waterworks because without such systems groundwater users would have no choice but to continue abstraction.

Keywords

Land Subsidence Social Dilemma Groundwater Abstraction Critical Zone Groundwater User 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was financially supported by the Human Impacts on Urban Subsurface Environment project organized by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto Japan. I also thank Mr. Anirut Ladawadee, Mr. Apichari Janthien, Dr.Oranuj Lorphensri, Mr. Rittikrai Bkavabhutanonda Na Mahasarakham and Mr. Wacharamedha Chandabimba (Department of Groundwater Resources, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand) and Ms. Sonthaya Sinthuyont (Metropolitan Waterworks Authority, Thailand) for providing governmental documents. Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to Ms. Nuengnam Navaboonniyom and Mr. Hanchai Sawangned for their assistance in translation. The views presented here are those of the author and should in no way be attributed to Thai government or Metropolitan Waterworks Authority. Responsibility for the text (with any surviving errors) rests entirely on the author.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan

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