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ADB Highlights Water Insecurity of Asia-Pacific Countries

ADB13 March 2013: The Asian Development Bank (ADB), in cooperation with the Asia-Pacific Water Forum (APWF), has released the "Asian Water Development Outlook 2013: Measuring Water Security in Asia and the Pacific (AWDO)." According to the report, three-fourths of countries in the Asia and Pacific region face serious water insecurity, while only one-quarter possess infrastructure and management systems for water security.

The report provides the first-ever comprehensive, quantitative measurement of water security of the 49 countries in the region, based on a framework encapsulating five key dimensions of water security that aim to: satisfy household water and sanitation needs in all communities; support productive economies in agriculture, industry, and energy; develop vibrant, livable cities and towns; restore healthy rivers and ecosystems; and build resilient communities that can adapt to change. Along each of these five dimensions, the report examines the cross-cutting themes of poverty reduction and governance.

In addition to providing individual country and aggregate regional indicators of the five dimensions of water security, AWDO discusses policy levers that may be used to increase water security. It further presents policies and strategies for enhancing water security, summarized as key messages targeted to political, water sector and civil society leaders at the national, river basin and community levels.

Key messages include the need to: mobilize rural communities for equitable access to water and sanitation; manage groundwater as a valuable and limited resource; prioritize integrated water resource management (IWRM); and create insurance mechanisms to minimize reliance on disaster relief. [ADB Press Release] [Publication: Asian Water Development Outlook 2013]