AWDO progress reports presented to the Asian Development Bank
In 2013, the Asian Water Development Outlook (AWDO) provided the first quantitative and comprehensive analysis of water security in the countries of Asia and the Pacific. By focusing on five key dimensions of water security, the AWDO 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.
Associate Professor Eva Abal and Dr Steven Kenway from The University of Queensland presented progress on the review of key dimension 3 'Urban water security'. A key focus for urban water security will be to update and compare progress in coverage of urban water supply, the percentage of wastewater generated and treated and the extent to which cities have drainage for stormwater.
One key challenge has been the lack of a universal definition of an ‘urban area.’ For example, slum areas are often excluded from national data collection systems and in the data reported to UN monitoring systems, such as the joint monitoring programs. While this represents challenge from a data collection perspective, it also highlights the need for greater attention to how we define and manage water in urban areas.
In the review of key dimension 4 'Environmental water security', Professor Stuart Bunn and Dr Ben Stewart Koster from Griffith University have partnered with City University of New York. The approach adopted for assessing environmental water security was originally developed for the analyses of global threats to human water security and river biodiversity. Updates for AWDO 2016 will include more recent data sets and more detailed levels of spatial aggregation. The environmental water security progress report noted that “the ability to drill down to a finer level of spatial resolution is important to avoid the effects of averaging (e.g. the masking of problem areas) and to identify priority areas for investment within countries”.
During the World Water Week in Stockholm (23-28 August 2015), the Asian Development Bank will present updates and outline how the AWDO is an approach that can assess challenges and identify possible solutions that efficiently manage and use water resources in ways that also help sustain Asia’s economic advances.