- Reseach project
- – Western Pacific
The Asian Water Development Outlook (AWDO) is a flagship water product of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asia- Pacific Water Forum (APWF) to highlight important water management issues. We led the development and review of two key dimension indicators on the topic of water security for the AWDO.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) was created in 1966 to be a financial institution that would foster economic growth and cooperation between its members. The ADB works with its member to across all sectors provide loads, technical assistance, grants, and investments to promote the sustainable development in the region. Now the ADB has 68 members, 49 of which are in the Asia Pacific region supporting approximately 40 of these countries.
The Asian Water Development Outlook (AWDO) is a flagship water product of the ADB and the Asia- Pacific Water Forum (APWF), to highlight important water management issues.
The first version of the AWDO was produced in 2007, where the ADB and APWF created the report to initiate a dialogue on water security in the Asia Pacific region. The next version in 2013 created the first comprehensive quantitative review of each of the countries in the region. AWDO 2013 detailed five key dimensions (KDs), based around households, economic, urban, environmental and resilience to disasters. Overall, water security was developed for each member by calculating a composite of the five KDs.
For the third version of AWDO in 2016, the ADB wanted to strengthen the five KDs by refining the KD indicators and methodologies to probe deeper and more robustly into national water security. To do this, the ADB tasked four leading global organisations to lead the KDs. The IWC was the only organisation to be given the lead in two KDs: KD3 urban water security and KD4 environmental water security.
The IWC led the development and review of two KDs for water security: KD3 for urban water security and KD4 for environmental water security. This was completed in parallel and in close communication with other KDs, through a collaborative approach led by the ADB with all KD research teams.
To develop the two KDs we:
Our involvement in AWDO 2016 was profoundly impactful. By contributing to the AWDO, we contributed to better water security throughout the Asia Pacific region.
In urban water security, we were able to identify that there has been significant improvement in cities in East Asia, but that there is still room for improvement elsewhere in Asia. It was identified that significant leadership and investment would be needed if more water sensitive cities were to develop throughout Asia and the Pacific.
We also identified that because of their healthy rivers and limited alterations to natural flow, Pacific island nations had the strongest environmental water security. We showed that the impact that good governance was having in advanced economies, by highlighting the importance of country and basin level monitoring.
With increasing climate variability, business-as-usual water management will no longer suffice. Monitoring tools such as the AWDO, which strengthens a government’s ability to make good decisions, will become increasingly important. Between AWDO 2013 and 2016, nine countries lifted themselves out of the water insecure classification, which has real, on-ground impacts for their citizens.