World Water Week: Eye on Asia

Background

World Water Week, hosted and organized annually by the Stockholm International Water Institute, has been the global platform for water issues since 1991. This year, World Water Week will be on August 31 to September 5, with the theme "Energy and Water."

"Eye on Asia," a day-long program of activities convened by ADB since 2008 as part of World Water Week, highlights current and emerging issues and challenges in the region's water sector, along with efforts of governments and development agencies to address them.

Eye on Asia 2014 will bring together international and regional specialists to highlight challenges and strategies for addressing emerging water, food, and energy security concerns. As Asian economies thrive, there is a pressing need for policymakers to balance demand for water from competing sectors. Water, food and energy security become increasingly critical to sustaining growth, and alleviating these concerns requires new approaches to resource management and innovative thinking to change the current trajectory of increasing water stress and expanding environmental degradation.

Objective

Water, energy, and food security continues to concern the leaders of governments, communities, civil society and industry across Asia. Eye on Asia aims to highlight challenges and emerging strategies to address water, energy, and food security concerns in the region.

Sessions

Morning: Vitality High & Energy Low - Critical Challenges for East Asia
The morning sessions on East Asia (People's Republic of China and Mongolia) will consider the regions' characteristics underlying water distribution and availability, and how climate change amplifies water constraints and surpluses. Competition for water between energy and agriculture will be examined, as well as concerns about sustainable hydropower and ecosystems and vulnerable rural communities. Progress in adoption of innovative energy and water resources planning will be reviewed along with successful technological advances in energy efficiency and clean energy. Strategic-level integrated spatial planning approaches to project-specific payment for environmental services and community-based catchment restoration will also be discussed.

Lunch: India's Power for Irrigation Challenge
The lunch session will cover India's "power for irrigation" challenge to enhance understanding of the water-energy-food issues in some of the fastest growing economies from different perspectives. Solar energy and irrigation issues and challenges, including use of solar pumping to provide farmers with predictable and reliable electricity and its potential to reduce overconsumption of subsidized electricity, promote more efficient water use, and ultimately effectively target several resource challenges will be discussed.

Afternoon: Water for Everyone - Critical Upstream-Downstream and Intersectoral Challenges
The afternoon sessions on South and South-East Asia will consider hydropower policies in the socio-economic development process and highlight the need for a sound knowledge base on which to develop energy policies, particularly in transboundary settings. The importance of disciplinary cooperation and connecting science to socio-economic and political systems will be reviewed, and innovations in energy and water resources planning, technological advances in energy efficiency, clean energy, integrated spatial planning, and payments for environmental services and community-based catchment restoration described. Underlying water distribution and availability, and how climate change amplifies water constraints and surpluses will be discussed. Spatial competition for water between energy and agriculture will be examined as well as sustainable hydropower, ecosystems, and vulnerable rural communities. A synthesis of lessons and policy gaps relevant to water-energy-food nexus, benefit sharing, and upstream downstream linkages will be developed.

Organizers

Eye on Asia 2014 is being co-convened by ADB, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Stockholm International Water Institute, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), UNESCO International Hydrological Programme, World Resources Institute, and World Wide Fund for Nature.

Participants

Experts from the water, energy, and agriculture sector are expected to attend. Representatives from government, academia, civil society organizations, private sector, media, and development partners are invited.