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Around 2.1 billion people in Asia-Pacific lack water supply, sanitation: ADB report

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ADB’s Asian Water Development Outlook 2020According to ‘Asian Water Development Outlook 2020: Advancing Water Security across Asia and the Pacific’ released by Asian Development Bank (ADB), 2.1 Billion People (1.5 Billion People in rural areas & 600 Million in urban areas) lack adequate water supply, sanitation in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Asian Water Development Outlook (AWDO) 2020 has been jointly prepared by ADB & Asia-Pacific Water Forum and supported by the Government of Australia.

i.AWDO 2020 is the 4th report in the series. The authors of the report are Tom Panella (ADB), Coral Fernandez Illescas (ADB), Silvia Cardascia (ADB), and Eelco van Beek (ADB consultant).

ii.The AWDO report describes the status of Water security in the Asia-Pacific region. It measures the availability of safe & affordable water supply, sanitation for all, improved livelihoods, health ecosystems, with reduced water-related diseases and floods.

Indicators & Methodology:

i.The report has been prepared based on 5 Key Dimensions (KDs) – Rural Household Water Security, Economic Water Security, Urban Water Security, Environmental Water Security, Water-Related Disaster Security.

ii.The report uses methodology and in-depth analysis of water financing and government developed in partnership with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Key Points:

i.The report states that out of 49 ADB Members from Asia and Pacific region

  • 27 members face serious water limitations for economic development &
  • 18 members have not taken sufficient steps to protect their citizens against water-related disasters.

ii.6 Regions (Central & West Asia, East Asia, Pacific, South Asia, Southeast Asia) excluding the Advanced Economies have made good progress in improving the water Security between the period 2013-20 based on the National Water Security (NWS) Index.

iii.The Top 3 performers based on NWS AWDO 2013-20 are –  China, Kyrgyz Republic & Maldives.

Regarding India:

i.India remains in Nascent stage in all KDs of the report.

ii.India has recorded vast improvement in sanitation during 2017-19.

iii.Compared to 2014, rural Indians have better access to basic sanitation in 2019.

iv.Each day around 100, 000 houses are being provided with tap water connections, with a target to achieve 180 Million Tap Water house connections till 2024.

Initiatives taken by India to improve Water Security:

The report has highlighted several initiatives taken by the Government of India & its state government to improve water security in India. They are

i.Schemes by Central Government – Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).

ii.Other initiatives such as Smart Cities, National Hydrology Project (NHP), Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP), National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Namami Gange Program, National River Conservation Plan (NRCP), Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABJY), Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration programs.

Initiatives taken by State Government:

i.Jalyukt Shivar (Maharashtra), Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan (Rajasthan), NEERU CHETTU (Andhra Pradesh), Mission Kakatiya (Telangana), Sujalam Sufala Yojana (Gujarat), Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) & Artificial Recharge Structures Scheme (Karnataka).

The impact of these schemes will be realized in the next edition of the AWDO report.

Key Recommendations of the report:

i.To position water as a vital part of sustainable rural development through promotion of water-effective irrigation agriculture.

ii.To achieve urban water security through investment in water, sanitation, and disaster risk reduction infrastructure.

iii.To provide a healthy environment for people by reducing pollution, stimulating a circular economy, increasing terrestrial protection

iv.Increase the resilience of the water systems to avoid water-related disasters and to be prepared for climate and other global changes.

Recent Related News:

i.September 15, 2020, According to “Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020 Update-September 2020” by ADB, India’s GDP (gross domestic product) growth will contract 9% in FY 2020-2021 due to COVID-19 induced slowed economic activity.

About Asian Development Bank (ADB):

Headquarters– Mandaluyong, Philippines
President– Masatsugu Asakawa
Membership– 68 countries (Including India)