The Faasai Resort and Spa in Thailand has committed to planting 1,000 vetiver plants - a ‘super grass’ for water conservation - to protect White Water conservation lake, 500 metres from the resort in Chanthaburi, Southeast Thailand.White Water Lake (Nong Nam Kao) has mineral spring waters which collect in streams, the small lake and a swamp.
To increase the water retention the owners of Faasai Resort, Surin Laopha and Bronwen Evans, have increased the depth of the stream and lake. They have also planted vetiver grasses, bamboo, lemongrass and about 1,000 trees around the perimeter of the lake and on adjoining land. The planted saplings include rare local trees and tropical fruit trees such as rosewood (my pradoo), balau (my teng) and aloes wood (my grisina).
“Our intention is to preserve the springs as a reservoir of pure fresh water and to provide a safe shelter for birds and other wildlife including fish, frogs, bats, lizards and snakes,” said Bronwen.
So far more than a hundred varieties of birds, dozens of varieties of fresh water fish, fresh water shrimps, water monitors, pythons, rats and water snails have been recorded at the sanctuary.
On June 2, World Responsible Tourism Day, the edges of the water will be planted with an additional 1,000 vetiver grass plants - which is considered to be a ‘super grass’ for water conservation.
Vetiver (‘yaa faak’ in Thai) has a strong fibrous root system which rapidly penetrates deep into the soil and develops into a tightly knitted net. It holds the soil together and serves as an underground wall which retards waterflow but allows water to seep into the soil. The roots are also capable of absorbing mineral nutrients for plants and other chemical substances such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides before they flow into the water sources. This protects the water from pollutants and maintains water quality.
Faasai Resort and Spa is a family owned eco-resort in Kung Wiman, Chanthaburi, Thailand. Although Kung Wiman is by the coast, it is blessed with an abundance of fresh water in the form of natural turquoise coloured mineral springs which come to the surface in ponds and streams which local people use for their gardens and orchards.
The resort is nestled beside a small forest reserve in the foothills of the Cardamom Mountains which stretch into Cambodia 100 kilometres away. The resort and lake are only a few minutes’ walk to the sea. These features make the area a magnet for wildlife, despite being only a three-hour drive from Bangkok.