Water is key to development progress. Nearly all Millennium Development Goals, including those related to hunger, health, and overall poverty, depend on an adequate supply of freshwater. The Asia and Pacific region, where nearly 70% of the world’s poor is concentrated,has the highest numbers of people without access to water and sanitation services. This translates to poor health and risk of disease. The sustainable management of water resources is critical to turning these figures around.
Trends in urban growth are increasing competition over water. In Asia alone, urban populations are expected to grow by 1 billion before 2030. Such fast-paced growth places increasing pressure on water managers and decision-makers to balance competing uses between human needs, agriculture, industry and power, and ecosystems. Add climate uncertainty to this mix and problems are exacerbated. Combined with increased resource demands, floods, droughts, and rainfall variability can impede productive agriculture and food security, threaten livelihoods, make availability of quality drinking water uncertain, and increase the risk of water-borne diseases. The combination of increased demand and climate uncertainty make it essential to integrate climate risk management approaches into water policy and decision-making.
In Southeast Asia, IRI has been partnering with water-resource managers and stakeholders in the Philippines to help manage the Angat reservoir system, which supplies water for use in metro Manila, irrigating rice crops, and hydropower production. Using advanced climate information and risk management, IRI is helping to devise innovative strategies for water allocation that are resilient, efficient and equitable.
For more information about IRI’s water management work in the Philippines, click on link at left.