The Asian Development Bank (ADB) just published “Supporting the Asia Pacific Water Forum: Asian Water Development Outlook 2007 – Achieving Water Security for Asia (Regional)”. This Asian Water Development Outlook 2007 report marks an early milestone in the Asia-Pacific Water Forum (APWF) ‘s progress. Established only in September 2006, the APWF seeks to encourage collaborative efforts on water resources management and accelerate the effective integration of water resources management into the socioeconomic development process of the Asia and Pacific region. The APWF is a result of the Joint Declaration issued by the Water Ministers of the Asia-Pacific Region at the Fourth World Water Forum, Mexico City.
This report brings together a wide range of water-related issues, problems, and challenges from a future-oriented, multidisciplinary, and multisectoral perspective from around the Asia and Pacific region. The report is cautiously optimistic on Asia’s water future. It points out that with existing knowledge, experience, and technology, the water problems of the Asian developing countries are solvable. The main constraint is not physical scarcity of water, though this could be an issue in some areas, but inappropriate management practices.
The Outlook, which is expected to be the first of a series of analyses on the future water situation of Asia, focuses on urban water and wastewater management. It notes that the status of provision of clean and drinkable water continues to be a serious concern in many Asian urban centers. Of even greater concern are inadequate wastewater management practices-collection, proper treatment, and safe disposal of wastewater.