- ASEAN region is generally sufficient in natural resources to support the livelihood of its people. However some AMS do experience seasonal scarcity, and freshwater resources are under increasing pressures due to rapidly rising demand from industrial activities, agricultural use, and a growing population. The variability of conditions in AMS also affects how water resource issues and their management are addressed. Nonetheless, there are some common issues cutting across AMS, such as supply, demand, water conservation, and water quality management.
- To ensure equitable access and sufficient water quantity of acceptable quality, the ASCC Blueprint (2009-2015) promotes regional cooperation on integrated water resources management.
|ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2009-2015|
|Section D.9: Promoting the Sustainability of Freshwater Resources|
|Strategic Objective: Promote sustainability of water resources to ensure equitable accessibility and sufficient water quantity of acceptable quality to meet the needs of the people of ASEAN.|
ASEAN Working Group on Water Resource management
- To enhance the regional cooperation on freshwater management, the ASEAN Leaders established the ASEAN Working Group on Water Resources Management (AWGWRM). The AWGWRM aims to:
- promote networking and engage in collaborative action towards the practical implementation of integrated water resources management;
- promote and facilitate the exchange of relevant information, expertise, technology and know-how among water resource agencies of member countries; and
- provide or make arrangements for relevant training, education and awareness-raising campaigns.
These activities below are carried out under the purview of the AWGWRM.
ASEAN Strategic Plan of Action on Water Resources Management
- Following the endorsement of the ASEAN Long Term Strategic Plan for Water Resources Management in 2003 by the ASEAN Environment Ministers, ASEAN adopted the ASEAN Strategic Plan of Action on Water Resources Management (2005) which aims to promote the sustainability of water resources to ensure equitable accessibility and sufficient water quantity of acceptable quality.
- The ASEAN Strategic Plan of Action on Water Resources Management (ASPA-WRM) contains actions on four key issues, i.e.: (i) supply; demand and allocation; (ii) water quality and sanitation; (iii) climate change and extreme events; and (iv) governance and capacity building. The four key issues have been translated into ten project concepts, namely:
|Project Concept 1:||Demand Management Learning Forums|
|Project Concept 2:||ASEAN IWRM Country Strategy Guidelines|
|Project Concept 3:||River Classification Systems|
|Project Concept 4:||ASEAN Water Data Management and Reporting System Design|
|Project Concept 5:||Risks and Impacts from Extreme Events in ASEAN Member Countries|
|Project Concept 6:||Knowledge Sharing and Exchange|
|Project Concept 7:||Exchanging Information and Creating Awareness in a Structured Basis between Peak Bodies|
|Project Concept 8:||Integrated Land Use Planning|
|Project Concept 9:||Increasing Long Term Awareness, Knowledge and Community Participation in Integrated Water Resources Management|
|Project Concept 10:||Education on Sanitation and Pollution Management|
- Workshop on the Existing Guidelines, Action Plans and Strategies related to Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) (led by Malaysia, 16-18 March 2009). The Workshop was conducted to prepare for the development of the ASEAN IWRM Country Strategy Guidelines. The workshop agreed on 6 key water related issues in the region, i.e.: (1) water supply; (2) irrigation; (3) stormwater management; (4) floods management; (5) water pollution management; and (6) sanitation management for the development of regional guidelines.A follow up Workshop on ASEAN Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Country Strategy Guidelines was held on 2-4 March 2015 in Putrajaya, Malaysia. As a result of the Workshop: 1) the ASEAN IWRM website http://aseaniwrm.water.gov.my was launched at the 26th Meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment (ASOEN) on 9-10 September 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and 2) the ASEAN IWRM Performance Monitoring Indicators Framework was endorsed at the 13th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment on 28 October 2015 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.
- Workshop on Risks and Impacts from Flood Extreme Events in AMS (led by Indonesia, implemented in June 2010). The Workshop assessed the management of flood existing in AMS to learn how well each country could cope with the situations, and identified required tools and actions to improve the current situation of flood management in AMS individually and holistically.
- Workshop on Risks and Impacts from Drought Extreme Events in AMS (led by Thailand, implemented in September 2010). The Workshop identified issues and gaps on drought management, shared information on best practices, and identified required tools and actions to improve the current situation of drought management in AMS individually and holistically.
- Water Resources Demand Management Learning Forums for Irrigation (led by Thailand, implemented in July 2011). The Workshop focused on identification of issues, challenges, best practices, and possible solution on irrigation in AMS.
- Singapore, as lead country of the project, continues to share their experience on urban water demand management through workshop and visit to ASEAN Member States (AMS). Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Singapore Cooperation Programme Training Award for ASEAN Countries – Delivering Water from Source to Tap was held on 29 May – 4 June 2014, in conjunction with the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) 2014. The Programme was held as sharing of Singapore’s experience in managing their water supply resources in an integrated and sustainable way.