Once again Good morning. This presentation on “Promoting the Sustainability of Freshwater Resources in ASEAN” will set the perspective of this workshop on the Risks and Impacts of Extreme Events of Floods in ASEAN Countries. Basically, it will provide a general information on where we are now, where we we going and what are the initiatives that must be done to achieve our vision and the efforts to be sustained towards attaining sustainable freshwater resources in the ASEAN countries. We know for a fact that one of the most urgent challenges facing the world today is ensuring adequate supply and quality of water in the light of both burgeoning human needs and climate variability.
The total population of AMS in mid-2008 was about 580 million, which accounted for 8.7 percent of the world’s total. In terms of regional distribution, the ASEAN region has the fourth largest population after South-Central Asia, Eastern Asia, and Sub- Saharan Africa. Indonesia is the most populous country in the region with almost 229 million. It is the fourth most populous country in the world after China, India, and the United States. Six AMS are among the top 50 most populous countries in the world, namely, Indonesia, Philippines, Viet Nam, Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia. The rate of population growth in AMS ranged from 0.7 percent to 5.5 percent in 2008 as a result of natural growth and migration. Natural population increase occurs when crude birth rate is higher than death rate – the bigger the difference, the higher the natural population increase. Lao PDR, Cambodia and the Philippines had high rates of natural population increase in 2006. Conversely, in the same year, Singapore and Thailand recorded low rates of natural population increase. In terms of population density per square kilometer, the Philippines rank 2 nd next to Singapore.
The region’s population is projected to rise to 650 million by 2020, with more than half living in urban areas. Apart from natural growth, rapid population growth in the ASEAN region may be attributed to declining infant and maternal mortality rates. Rapid urbanisation, if not managed well, could lead to proliferation of urban slums, resulting in a myriad of environmental and health problems such as degraded water and air quality, and lack of access to healthcare and proper sanitation.
The global overview of water availability versus the population stresses the continental disparities, and in particular, the pressure put on the Asian continent, which supports more than half of the world’s population with only 36 percent of the world’s water resources.
The ASEAN region, by virtue of its location in the tropics, is endowed with abundant freshwater resources. In 2007, the region had about 5,674.5 billion cubic metres of internal renewable freshwater resources. The sources of fresh water, including river basins, groundwater reserves, lakes, which consisted of an average flow of rivers and recharge groundwater (aquifers) generated precipitation. Due to AMS’ vast differences in geographical location, land size and natural resources endowment, the availability of water resources per capita also varies considerably. Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR and Malaysia have the highest per capita water resource availability among the AMS. I would like to note that when analyzing freshwater and its relationship to human consumption, it is useful to delineate 2 concepts, i.e Availability and access. Availability is the physical presence of adequate water supplies, while access refers to the ability of people within a particular country or region to actually receive or gain access to clean freshwater. Availability maybe more dependent on physical or environmental factors (eg. Climate Change), whereas Access maybe more dependent on social or political factors ( agriculture is dependent on irrigation, municipal water supply, etc.)
The ASEAN Coastline is 173,000 kilometers. For water use in Selected AMS Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, the agricultural sector are consuming from 59% to 75 % for the agricultural sector. On the other hand for domestic use Brunei Darussalam and Singapore as having 77% and 49%, respectively. For Population using improved water sources, ASEAN is the same with the World Average of 86% and for improved sanitation facilities the ASEAN coverage is 74 % as compared to only 60% world average.
In the Philippines, agricultural use is the major user of water estimated to 82% of the total water use.
As shown in the picture Southeast Asia is vulnerable to extreme and more frequent events of droughts and heavy rainfalls that caused flooding.
The diagram show the ASEAN Institutional Framework for Environmental Cooperation Under this institutional Framework for ASEAN Cooperation different Working groups were created and will be reporting to the ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment and then will be reporting to the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting then to the ASEAN Summit. Recognising the importance of freshwater resources, ASEAN has embarked on cooperation in integrated water resources management with the formation of the ASEAN Working Group on Water Resources Management (AWGWRM) in 2002.
As shown in this diagram under the ASEAN structure on Environmental Cooperation the ASCC Blueprint was formulated in March 2009. ASEAN needs a robust regional institutional and policy framework to effectively implement its mandate, ensure coordination among the various sectors and the three community pillars, and more importantly to ensure that regional efforts support coordinated actions at the national level to realise the purposes of ASEAN Vision 2020 and the strategic objectives and actions for Freshwater Resources are shown under Environmental Sustainability.
Looking at the macro picture the ASEAN Vision 2020 is Following the endorsement of the ASEAN Long Term Strategic Plan for Water Resources Management in 2003, the ASEAN has also adopted the ASEAN Strategic Plan of Action on Water Resources Management (2005) which aims to tackle issues relating to demand and supply allocation, water quality and sanitation, extreme events, and governance and capacity building. In accordance with the ASPA the Vision and Mission for water resources was formulated. The ASEAN Strategic Plan of Action on Water resources Management 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 Chairman’s statement during the 14th ASEAN Summit held in Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand with the theme “ASEAN Charter for ASEAN Peoples”. It is stated that: “We adopted the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint to serve as the roadmap to realize an ASEAN Community that is people-centered, socially responsible with a view to achieving solidarity, unity and a common identity and building a sharing and caring society which is inclusive and harmonious where the well-being, livelihood, and welfare of the peoples are enhanced. In view of this, we emphasized the importance of enhancing cooperation in human development; promoting social welfare, justice and rights; ensuring environmental sustainability ; building the ASEAN identity and narrowing the development gap.”
Under D9, the objective is :promoting the sustainability of freshwater resources. Under which are the different key actions to be implemented.
Subsequent to the creation of AWGWRM in 2003 the ASEAN Strategic Plan on Water Resources Management was adopted in 2005 by the ASEAN Environment Ministers which is aimed to promote sustainability of water resources and lay out actions on four key issues. These key issues were translated into 10 project concepts.
Urban Water Demand Management Learning Forum was organised by Singapore, and held on 22 – 25 June 2009. The Workshop agreed that the challenges in urban water demand management could be dealt with short- and long-term solutions. While the short-term solutions include reducing commercial losses, improving the accuracy of water meters and reducing water pressure, the long-term solutions could include, among others, pipe replacement programmes, 100 percent metering and introducing institutional reforms such as more effective regulation, private sector participation and financial restructuring of water utilities. It was also agreed that capacity building programmes such as formal training, staff exchange, advisory services training, will be needed to implement these solutions. Water Resources Demand Management Learning Forums for Irrigation (Thailand) is scheduled to be conducted in 2010. Thailand has agreed to host the Workshop. The implementation of this project is pending due to funding availability.
Malaysia organised the Workshop on the Existing Guidelines, Action Plans and Strategies related to IWRM on 16 – 18 March 2009. The Workshop was the preliminary activities to develop the ASEAN Integrated water Resources Management Country Strategy Guidelines (project concept 2). The Workshop agreed on 6 key water related issues in the region, i.e. (1) water supply; (2) irrigation; (3) storm water management; (4) floods management; (5) water pollution management and (6) sanitation management for the development of the guidelines. Malaysia is currently gathering more information from the AMS on the above issues and was expected to submit the initial draft of the guidelines in the next AWGWRM Meeting.
Project Concept 3- River Basin Classification Systems: The lead country for this project is Viet Nam. Viet Nam developed a study on river classification systems in 2008, and was circulated to AMS for comments. However, only Myanmar commented the paper. The 9th AWGWRM (2009) agreed that there is a need to further study the paper, and to have a better understanding and agreement on the issues (i.e. river classification, water quality, and other issues). To date, no significant progress on the project proposal. Project concept 4 – ASEAN Water Data Management and Reporting System design Malaysia developed the draft proposal and submitted for AMS’ comments in 2007. To date, Malaysia is still gathering required information to further develop the proposal from Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Viet Nam. The required information are as follows: Type of parameters to measure the water quality and quantity to be included in the proposal – the draft proposal addresses 9 parameters. Frequency of monitoring and measuring – the draft proposal calls for twice a month (forthnightly) measurements and reporting. The appointment of lead agency in each member country which will be responsible for this project and to provide the data required. Member countries’ commitment and agreement to implement the system, in particular to share the country data on a regular basis. Member State's requirement for international funding for implementation.
I would like to highlights this on-going activity on Risks and Impacts from Extreme Events of Floods in ASEAN Countries with Indonesia as lead country.
Project concept 6 – Knowledge Sharing and Exchange The AMS agreed to use the existing mechanism, such as the KnowledgeHubs ( www.apwf-knowledgehubs.net ) , a network of the Asia Pacific Knowledge Forum (APWF) which was launched during the Singapore International Water Week in June 2008. Each hub is a center of excellence committed to improving water security in the Asia-Pacific region by promoting knowledge sharing and championing feasible solutions for its priority water topic. Together, the hubs collaborate to generate and share knowledge and develop capacity in a number of water knowledge domains. Project concept 7 – Exchanging Information and Creating Awareness in a Structured Basis between Peak Bodies The AMS agreed to use the existing mechanism such water sector apex bodies. The AMS further noted that the water sector apex bodies are national organizations in the water sector, such as national water (resources) councils, committees, commissions, boards, or authorities, together with their supporting offices/secretariats, which established to guide the national water sector reforms. The AMS also noted that the National Water Sector Apex Body of Indonesia was recently established, following those in Lao PDR, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
Project concept 9 - Increasing Long Term Awareness, Knowledge and Community Participation in Integrated Water Resources Management Lao PDR’s submitted their proposed work plan to the AMS in 2009. Since community participation is an inseparable part of integrated water resources management, the AMS agreed to integrate the project on Increasing Long Term Awareness, Knowledge and Community Participation in Integrated Water Resources Management with the project on the Development of ASEAN IWRM Country Strategy Guidelines. Lao PDR will work together with Malaysia to develop the Guidelines. The participation of the GWP-SEA in the implementation of this project concept is expected, in particular in providing technical assistance and linkages to key institutions. Two project concepts (8 and 10) were not yet discussed by the AMS .
To move forward we need to continue implementing the 10 projects identified in the ASPA and find ways on how to sustain its implementation. Also we need to address is on the impacts of climate change (droughts and floods) and how to implement Integrated Flood Management (IFM) in the context of IWRM. As per the document ( APFM Technical Document No. 1, second edition, The Associated Programme on Flood Management, 2004) The recommended Elements of Integrated Flood Management are the following: Manage the Water Cycle as a Whole ( Flood management plans should include drought management, and should take measures to maximize the positive aspects of floods such as by retaining part of flood flows for use in crop production and other uses). Urban flood plans must manage both stormwater quantity and the effects of storm water on water quality. Integrate Land and Water Management ( Land-use planning and water management should be combined in one synthesized plan with a certain common field, such as the mapping of flood hazards and risks, to enable the sharing of information between land-use planning and water management authorities) Manage Risk and Uncertainty ( Flood risk management consists of systematic actions in a cycle of preparedness, response and recovery, and should form a part of IWRM) Adopt a Best-Mix of Strategies ( Adopt flexible strategies and adaptable to changing conditions, long term and short-term interventions) Ensure a Participatory Approach (bottom-up and top-down approach, river basin committees can provide appropriate forums for coordination) Adopt Integrated Hazard Management Approaches (part of a wider risk management system, early warnings and forecasts are key links to series of steps)
A vivid example of IFM in the context of IWRM is the case of the Angat Reservoir. It is a multipurpose dam which supplies domestic water supply for Metro Manila, irrigation water and for hydropower purposes. Due to the effects of Climate Change, there is a recurrent water variability due to dry/wet season effects). Therefore, there is a need to review and monitor Reservoir Operations. As a Water Sector Climate Change Adaptation the following priority actions were formulated: Upgrade and sustain the National Water Information Network currently housed in the NWRB Review and amend the Water Code of the Philippines in order to adapt to current challenges and issues.