Water Resources Management

In Sixth ASEAN State of the Environment Report
Chapter: 5
Report Chapter
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▪ Remarkable progress has been made to improve access to safe and clean drinking water over
the last 20 years; however, water degradation caused by poor sanitation and hygiene services,
low water-use efficiency for agriculture, and lack of appropriate domestic wastewater treatment
systems are still common challenges observed in many ASEAN Member States (AMS).
▪ Consequently, water security is under significant pressure in many ASEAN countries, both in
terms of water quality and quantity. In addition, the complexity of climate change impacts and
water-related disasters will gradually lead to increased vulnerability and water security risk in
the region.
▪ Industrial pollution, nutrient pollution from agricultural run-off, and untreated domestic
wastewater discharge are major threats to ambient water quality, damaging ecosystem services,
and threatening human health.
▪ Other major challenges affecting regional water security are a lack of regular water quality
monitoring, ineffective data management and reporting systems, a lack of practical technical
guidelines at the city/provincial/local, ineffective inter-sectoral coordination mechanisms and
institutional collaboration between water-related sectors and other stakeholders, as well as
among national, subnational and basin levels (e.g., unsustainable development of hydropower
plants in upstream regions).
▪ Improved water governance and enforcement capacity of institutions at national and local levels,
as well as enhanced cross-sector coordination and collaborative partnerships on vertical and
horizontal dimensions, are critical for effective implementation of sustainable water resources
management in the region.
▪ The UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) of ensuring water and sanitation can provide
a good framework to encourage a more comprehensive and holistic approach to enhance
regional water security. Due to its strong interlinkages with other sustainable development goals
(e.g., food and energy security, poverty reduction, sustainable consumption and production, and
economic growth), it is clearly that achievement and progress towards the eight targets of SDG
6 will strongly support progress on the other SDGs. Progress on SDG 6 will help the ASEAN
region to improve its ability to safeguard sustainable access to sufficient quantities of water of
acceptable quality to sustain livelihoods, human well-being, and socioeconomic development,
protect against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and sustain ecosystems.