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Water beyond boundaries: stories from Colombia and Southeast Asia

We will explore through narrative how resilience is built in the Campoalegre watershed, Colombia and the Songkhram watershed, northeast Thailand through the transfer of water and water-mediated resources in and out of the watershed boundary.

26 August 2021 at 22:00 CEST

ending at 23:00 CEST

Sweden and Online
Event contact

Marisa Escobar

Green rice planted in paddy, Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

Green rice planted in paddy, Sakon Nakhon, Thailand. Photo: Korakot Yachaisri / EyeEm / Getty Images.

What does coffee production in the Campoalegre watershed, located in the Colombia’s Andean region, have in common with rice production in the Songkhram watershed, located in northeast Thailand?

Coffee plantation corresponds to 24% of Campoalegre’s area, whilst about 45% of Songkhram produces rice. In 2019, the Campoalegre produced 15,000 tons of coffee whereas the Songkhram produced over 1.3 million tonnes of rice. Both activities are water-intensive: each kilogram of dry parchment coffee requires 40 litres of water; one hectare of rice cultivation requires on average 6,340 m3 of water. However, not all ‘local water’ stays local.

The rice produced in Songkhram (for e.g., Thai Jasmine which is known for its high export quality) is also sent to nearby provinces and international markets, leaving the watershed boundary as ‘virtual water’. Only 5.3% of the coffee produced in the Campoalegre watershed is consumed in Colombia. They share a common narrative: water-mediated resources or teleconnections. These ‘unseen’ flows generate water-related dependencies beyond watershed boundaries; yet they are not explicitly considered in water management.

Our 60-minute session will explore these water narratives with photo-stories and interactive data. We want to hear from our audience—where does your local water go? Does it go beyond boundaries?


Welcome and Introduction to ‘Water Beyond Boundaries’ Initiative

  • Marisa Escobar, SEI US

Water narratives from Colombia: case of the Campoalegre river basin

  • Cláudia Coleoni, SEI Latin America

Water narratives from Southeast Asia: case of the Songkhram river basin, Thailand

  • Uttam Ghimire, SEI Asia


Breakout Group Discussion on the following questions:
Facilitator: Doug Chalmers, SEI US

  • How does water go beyond boundaries?
  • What are these boundaries?
  • Does your local water go beyond boundaries?

Summary and wrap-up

End of session


  • SEI


Cláudia Coleoni

Research Associate

SEI Latin America

Profile picture of Uttam Ghimire
Uttam Ghimire

Research Associate

SEI Asia

Doug Chalmers



Tania Santos

Research Fellow

SEI Latin America

Camilo Andrés González

Research Assistant

SEI Latin America

Natalia Ortiz

Communications Officer


SEI Latin America

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