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Asian Water Review: Patterns, Achievements, and Challenges Water Policy Dialogue, 25 June 2009 Institute of Water Policy Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy National University of Singapore by Rita Padawangi, Research Fellow, Institute of Water Policy The afternoon session of the Water Policy Dialogue on 25 June 2009 started at 2.00 pm with the roundtable “Asian Water Review: Patterns, Achievements, and Challenges”. Attended by more than sixty participants in the audience – water sector practitioners, academe, and students – the three presentations in this roundtable reviewed various water sector projects across Asia and provided more detailed view on Sri Lanka’s experience on water resource management and the recent Kunming water development project in the People’s Republic of China. The roundtable was chaired by Mr. Sangay Penjor, Principal Evaluation Specialist of the Asian Development Bank, who had had extensive experience in water supply, sanitation and urban projects, mainly in the People's Republic of China and Mongolia. The Institute of Water Policy (IWP) presented “Water Management: Good Practices and Lessons Learned” in the roundtable. The research comprehensively analysed key lessons learned and practices in water and wastewater sector operations in the ADB and assessed the comparison between ADB projects and other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs). The presentation also highlighted in-depth case studies of three major best practices and approach examples in water and wastewater sectors: Phnom Penh Water Supply and Drainage in Cambodia, the Songhua River Basin in the People’s Republic of China, and the Punjab Community Water Supply and Sanitation in Pakistan. Water Policy Dialogue: Asian Water Review: Patterns, Achievements, and Challenges The findings of the research would help the operations department at ADB to improve project quality and were initial preparatory works for the Special Evaluation Study (SES) on the implementation of the ADB’s Water Policy. Overall Performance Rating (left) and Sustainability Performance Rating (right) of Completed Asian Development Bank Projects in Water Resource, Water Supply, and Wastewater Sectors, 1995-2008 Delivered by Dr. Wu Xun, Assistant Professor at the LKYSPP, and Dr. Rita Padawangi, Research Fellow at the IWP-LKYSPP, the presentation concluded that successful projects are characterised by strong stakeholder commitment, good leadership, and capable executing agencies. Many water development projects look promising at the design stage, but implementation remains challenging. However, current efforts to build leadership and capabilities are not yet adequate to meet the challenges in the developing countries. Effective capacity building programs are necessary to support policy implementation. While the IWP-LKYSPP presentation focused on the overall pattern, Tatiana Gallego- Lizon and Maria Theresa Villareal from the Asian Development Bank presented case studies on water sector projects in Asia. Ms. Gallego-Lizon zeroed in on water security in South Asia, particularly in Sri Lanka. She highlighted that about 20% of the South Asian population lacks access to water services and that water resources in South Asia are unevenly distributed. Northern Sri Lanka is the country’s dry zone that is characterised by low precipitation and scarce water resources. The first case study, the Jaffna Water Supply and Sanitation Project, featured flat elevation, no perennial rivers, and high dependency on groundwater resources. Jaffna needed a regional water strategy and regional groundwater modeling to avoid undesirable environmental impact due to over extraction of groundwater. Groundwater mapping, defining groundwater parameters, and 2 Water Policy Dialogue: Asian Water Review: Patterns, Achievements, and Challenges defining the geometry of the freshwater lens supported the development of predictive tools: cross-sectional numerical models, steady state simulations, and developing Jaffna Regional Numerical Model to compute water balance for Jaffna Peninsula. These tools enabled Jaffna’s District Committee to plan and manage groundwater resources to ensure long-term drinking water supply. Top Surface (m AMSL) 10.5 8.5 6.5 4.5 2.5 0.5 -1.5 Topography (left) and Groundwater Mapping (right) of Jaffna, Sri Lanka (source: ADB, 2009) Another case study from Sri Lanka was the collaborative planning and coordination and improved regulation and monitoring in the Sri Lanka Dry Zone Water Supply and Sanitation Project. This project included participatory groundwater resource management, river basin management, and applying subsidiarity principles. It is a three- year program to strengthen water resource management, coordination and planning abilities in Puttalam, Vavuniya and Mannar districts. The case studies show two major components in water security initiatives in South Asia: 1. Strategic planning and management of water resources: sustainability, collaboration and coordination, regulation and monitoring. 2. Optimising use in urban water management: catchment rehabilitation and management, integration of water supply and wastewater system designs, demand management and water conservation, and water recycling. Ms. Gallego-Lizon closed her presentation by showing a comparison case of the Maldives, where water resources were also scarce. In the Maldives, the strategic planning and management of water resources had been implemented, as well as the optimisation of water management. Water catchment was improved by rainwater harvesting and aquifer recharge, and freshwater was protected through wastewater treatment. The presentation showed that a sustainable water management is necessary and is possible to overcome water scarcity. 3 Water Policy Dialogue: Asian Water Review: Patterns, Achievements, and Challenges The third presentation was “Kunming Water Sector Governance” by Ms. Maria Theresa Villareal, Senior Urban Development Specialist of the Asian Development Bank. Similar to the challenges in Northern Sri Lanka, Kunming was also dependent on groundwater. In the case of Kunming, there were four major approaches: 1) improving water resources protection and management, 2) strengthening institutions and linkages in water and wastewater sector, 3) promoting water conservation, and 4) reducing pollution levels in lakes, rivers and reservoirs. Kunming promoted water conservation mainly through water tariffs, in which block tariffs and lifeline block for the poor were established, and the tariff also included fees on pollutants. Kunming also set water recycling rate at 20%. Water Supply Area in Kunming (source: ADB, 2009) The highlight of Ms. Villareal’s presentation was the public-private partnership in Kunming Water Sector Governance. Although the ownership of the corporation fully belongs to Kunming Municipal Government (KMG), the company operated as a joint venture on a 30 year contract with the government, starting in May 2006. The company’s responsibilities are 1) to improve technical and operational efficiency, including reducing non-revenue water (NRW) and metering, and 2) to improve managerial capacity in financial management, business planning, and management information system development. KMG aimed to have Kunming as National Water Conservation City by 2020, which became the motivation to improve overall water management administration. The first afternoon roundtable shows that there are numerous best practices in water resource, water supply, and wastewater sectors throughout Asia. These best practices, however, emerged not because the places were in favorable conditions or have 4 Water Policy Dialogue: Asian Water Review: Patterns, Achievements, and Challenges abundant water. Jaffna and Kunming were dependent on groundwater resources; Phnom Penh was a war-torn city, Punjab-Pakistan was a brackish area, and the Songhua River Basin faced pollution problems. Applicable strategies and good water management resulted in considerably sustainable water services in each case, in spite of continuing challenges. Progress in various countries in Asia is encouraging, but more needs to be done, especially in capacity building and increasing stakeholder commitment. Asian Water Review: Patterns, Achievements, and Challenges Water Policy Dialogue, 25 June 2009 Chair: Mr. Sangay Penjor, Principal Evaluation Specialist, Asian Development Bank “Promoting Water Security in South Asia – ADB’s Practical Experience” Ms. Tatiana Gallego-Lizon, Urban Development Specialist, South Asia Regional Department, Asian Development Bank “Water Management: Good Practices and Lessons Learned” Dr. Wu Xun and Dr. Rita Padawangi, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore “Kunming Water Sector Governance: Case Study of Kunming” Ms. Maria Theresa J. Villareal, Senior Urban Development Specialist, Asian Development Bank The Institute of Water Policy wishes to thank the Asian Development Bank (ADB), especially Mr. Sangay Penjor, Ms. Tatiana Gallego-Lizon, and Ms. Maria Theresa J. Villareal for supporting the Water Policy Dialogue, 25 June 2009. 5
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