Asia’s Water Challenges
by China Water Risk 18 September, 2018
Asia has limited water resources. Yet, the economy runs on water and it is the only resource we can’t live without. So, what does this mean for the future of Asia? This month we explore some of Asia’s challenges from water scarcity impacting energy in India to declining coffee production in Nepal and tensions over transboundary rivers between Kazakhstan & China to water rights trading as a solution. For more on Asia’s water challenges see our new report, “No Water, No Growth – Does Asia have enough water to develop?”
Energy’s thirst for water is not new but water shortages cost India about 14 terawatt-hours of potential thermal power generation in 2016. As WRI’s Tianyi Luo expands, the situation is serious but India has plans to tackle this. Meanwhile, coffee growers in Nepal have their own challenges as Abhaya Raj Joshi shares. Changing precipitation patterns and pests mean reduced production.
Managing transboundary rivers is not easy. Kazakhstan is restructuring its water management to increase self-sufficiency and reduce transboundary tensions with China over the Ili river, as Professor Jia Shaofeng and Dr Lei Xie from the Chinese Academy of Science show. China is also looking for solutions. Professor Zhao Jianshi from Tsinghua University shares the case of the successful water rights trading pilot in the Shiyang river basin.
We hosted a seminar at World Water Week again this year and while there were many positives from the event, it is clear that Asia must forge its own development path with such different water resources from developed countries. Avoiding a real liquidity crunch, one that could impact billions of lives & cost trillions of dollars, is one of our greatest challenges in the 21st century.
Read more from China Water Risk →