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Digging shallow wells to establish permanent water sources is one of the projects of the Armed Forces Development Command under the supervision of the Royal Thai Armed Forces aiming to solve drought issues in many areas of Thailand. Currently, however, there is no proper approach for managing such project. The objectives of this research were to: 1) study the influence of a drought context, local wisdom, local resident participation, and strategies for water resource management on managing permanent water sources by digging shallow wells; 2) develop a proper model for managing permanent water sources by digging shallow wells; and 3) outcomes, problems and obstacles in managing permanent water sources by digging shallow wells. This research utilized a mixed research approach combining quantitative and qualitative methods. For the quantitative research part, data were gathered with the use of a questionnaire from 320 local residents living in seven villages in the area of Regional Development Office 1, the Armed Forces Development Command, Laokhwan District, Kanchanaburi Province. They were selected by multi-stage sampling. The sample size was determined based on 20 times the observed variables. Data were analyzed with a structural equation model. As for the qualitative research component, in-depth interviews were conducted with 34 military officers and community leaders, selected by purposive sampling. Data were then analyzed with content analysis. Research findings revealed that: 1) local wisdom had the greatest influence on managing permanent water sources by digging shallow wells, followed by strategies for water resource management, the drought context, and local resident participation, respectively; 2) a proper model for managing permanent water sources by digging shallow wells consisted of the drought context, local wisdom, local resident participation, and strategies for water resource management; and 3) in terms of the outcome of managing permanent water sources by digging shallow wells, it was found that such management lacked integration and cooperation among related organizations. Furthermore, in terms of problems and obstacles, insufficient budget and lack of data as well as knowledge on the development of water resource represented significant problems. These research findings are beneficial for the Armed Forces Development Command of the Royal Thai Armed Forces in determining strategies for the efficient management of permanent water sources by digging shallow wells. This research can serve as new body of knowledge for solving the repetitive problem of drought-related water shortages, increasing agricultural productivity, and reducing the migration of local people out of rural areas.
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