This study provides a quantitative and comprehensive view of water security in the countries of Asia and the Pacific. By focusing on critical water issues, it provides finance and planning leaders with recommendations on policy actions to improve water governance and guidance on investments to increase their country's water security. The authors stress that the social, economic, and political consequences of water shortages are real, as are the effects of water-related disasters exacerbated by climate change.
The key messages of the study are:
- Make the best use of already developed water resources by investing in and incentivizing "reduce, reuse, recycle" systems;
- Unlock the performance of water utilities through corporatization;
- Invest in better sanitation to boost health, productivity, and the economy;
- Mobilize rural communities for equitable and just access to water and sanitation;
- Embrace the challenge of the water–food–energy nexus;
- Manage groundwater as a valuable and limited resource;
- Revitalize irrigation institutions for transformation of irrigation services;
- Make integrated water resources management a priority;
- Mobilize additional resources to clean up rivers;
- Create insurance mechanisms to minimize reliance on disaster relief; and
- New problems demand institutions crafted for current challenges.
The authors examined five dimensions of water security: Household Water Security, Economic Water Security; Urban Water Security; Environmental Water Security and Resilience to Water-Related Disasters. They found that water governance plays a central role in boosting water security in each of the five key dimensions, and also in managing the trade-offs between the dimensions. The study concludes that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions across the region and that there is an urgent need to strengthen the capacity for integrated planning and management nationally as well as in river basins and cities.
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