“To foster sound decision-making today for a water-secure tomorrow in Asia”
Water is life. Beyond quenching thirst, water is used to grow food, to generate power, to mine resources, make clothes, electronics and other consumables. Literally, our economy runs on water. China & India, the two most populous countries in the world are water stressed and will only achieve water, food and energy security if a new paradigm of “business unusual” is forged.
Water is also the resource most vulnerable to climate change. In Asia, many of our major rivers, that are our cradles of civilization, flow from the Himalayan Hindu Kush (HKH), where climate change impact is evident. Often known as the Third Pole, the region is experiencing accelerated glacier and snow melt similar to the North and South Poles. These impact river flows and temperature rise in the mountains can affect monsoon patterns.
Decisions made across Asia and the world, be they in economic, industrial, agricultural and power expansion will not only put pressure on already limited water resources, they could accelerate climate change which in turn exacerbates scarcity. Rampant water pollution from decades of rapid development only further intensifies the problem. Water and climate challenges therefore need to be managed comprehensively to ensure socio-economic and water security.
One in every 2.5 Asians or 1.77 billion people from 16 countries are clustered in 10 river basins, which also generate over US$4 trillion worth of GDP. With so much at stake, the expansion of economies will need to be planned together with the management of water. We seek to reframe the conversation on water beyond access to clean water to one on water-nomics. Since impacts are clearly material, we also focus on the assessment and valuation of water & climate risks so that we can properly protect our people and assets.