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While the Asia and the Pacific region has experienced rapid economic growth over the past three decades, enormous challenges remain. The region is home to a large share of the world’s poor and is facing rapid urbanization with about 22 megacities by 2030 and a population of 5.2 billion by 2050.

Consequently, water demand is projected to increase by about 55% due to growing demand from domestic and industrial sectors. The agriculture sector also will need to produce much more food for the growing population, thus competing for diminishing water resources. Recent estimates indicate up to 3.4 billion people could be living in water-stressed areas of Asia by 2050. The region’s water resources will be under enormous pressure—which will be exacerbated with increasing climate variability and possible further degradation of water quality.

ADB’s response to the growing water crisis is stated in the ADB Water Operational Plan 2011-2020. It specifies a range of solutions available to developing member countries to address water challenges in the region, including the need to embrace new technologies and innovations to improve the effectiveness of water investments. Technology can help address water insecurity, promote economic growth, advance progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, strengthen adaptation to climate change, and increase disaster risk resilience.

In addition to infrastructure investments and technical assistance, ADB seeks to enhance the awareness and capacities of sector practitioners through knowledge sharing events such as the Asia Water Forum 2018 (AWF 2018).

Theme and forum sessions

Asia Water Forum 2018 will focus on the theme of “Information, Innovation, and Technology”. Underpinned by the need for sustainable water management, reliable water services, and water security, participants can expect high-level plenary sessions and parallel break-out sessions on the five major activities under the One ADB Water Approach: (i) supplying water; (ii) sanitation and water quality; (iii) water for food; (iv) water for energy; and (v) water resources management.

Topics will also cover the following crosscutting themes of: (i) inclusiveness; (ii) finance and transactions; (iii) governance and sustainability; (iv) disaster and resilience; and (v) water–food–energy security nexus, efficiency, and performance.

All sessions will be conducted in English. For more details, see our program overview.


Asia Water Forum 2018 provides a platform and venue for sharing knowledge and experience on water information, innovation, and technology across the region. Asia Water Forum 2018 aims to discuss ways to identify and adopt innovations that best address the requirements for a water-secure Asia and the Pacific, and to keep the profile of water high on the region’s development agenda. The increased knowledge and application of international best practices as well as continued development and use of information systems, remote sensing, enhanced control systems, and other advanced technology are expected to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of ADB-financed projects in developing member countries; thus improving the management of water, delivery of water services, and status of water security across the region.

Trade exhibition and marketplace

Concurrent to the sessions, the Asia Water Forum 2018 will feature a trade exhibition and marketplace of water-related organizations, private companies, and other stakeholders who demonstrate and provide information, innovation, and technology for the water sector.

There will be over 30 exhibition booths and poster displays to encourage the exchange of ideas, finding solutions, and forging partnerships.

Online application for the trade exhibition and market place has been closed. 


Asia Water Forum 2018 anticipates over 300 participants from ADB developing member countries, water utilities, development partners, private sector, water-related organizations, research and academia, civil society, and other stakeholder groups.

Online application has been closed. Acceptance of an application does not guarantee funding support. Please wait for an email from the organizers regarding the status of your application.

Presentation materials

See presentation materials from this event on ADB Knowledge Events.

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