Asia and the Pacific continues to be a fast-growing and dynamic region. The overall trend for urbanization will see an estimated 2.5 billion people or 55% of the population living in urban areas by 2030. However, almost 500 million people in the region still do not have access to at least basic water supplies, and 1.14 billion lack access to basic sanitation. Water security remains a significant challenge, especially as water demand is projected to increase by about 55% due to growing demand from domestic and industrial sectors. The agriculture sector will also need to produce much more food for the growing population, competing for already diminishing water resources. Add to that the constant threat of disasters exacerbated by climate change that is also prevalent in the region.
Although according to ADB’s 2020 Asia Development Water Outlook, the general trend is of improved water security, particularly in East Asia and Southeast Asia, 22 countries out of the 49 surveyed remain in the lower two 'insecure' categories of the five-band national water security index. This represents 2.05 billion people or about 50% of the regions’ population. Continued efforts are needed to address the root causes of water insecurity across its various dimensions.
ADB’s response to the growing water crisis is stated in ADB’s forthcoming Water Sector Directional Guide under Strategy 2030 which aims to build a resilient and water-secure Asia and Pacific. 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 2022 (AWF 2022).
Asia Water Forum 2022
AWF 2022 will take place virtually on 8-11 August 2022. The theme will be "Toward a Resilient and Water-Secure Asia and the Pacific. Underpinned by the need for climate change resilience, sustainable water management, reliable water services, and water security, participants can expect high-level plenary sessions and parallel break-out sessions centered around four key focus areas: (i) water as a sustainable resource; (ii) universal water and sanitation services; (iii) productive water in agriculture and the economy; and (iv) climate change and water-related risks.
Topics will also cover the following crosscutting themes of: (i) embracing environmental sustainability and circular economy; (ii) improving governance and catalyzing finance; (iii) promoting inclusiveness and gender equality; (iv) building resilience and adaptive capacity; and (v) fostering innovation and technological advancement.
AWF 2022 will provide a platform and venue for sharing knowledge and experience on water information, innovation, and technology across the region. AWF 2022 aims to discuss ways to identify and adopt innovations that best address the requirements for a resilient and 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 technology development are expected to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of ADB-financed projects in developing member countries; thus improving climate change resilience, management of water, delivery of water and sanitation services, and the status of water security across the region.
AWF 2022 anticipates participants from ADB developing member countries, water utilities, development partners, private sector, water-related organizations, research and academia, civil society, and other stakeholder groups.
How to register
Register now to join the forum.
For inquiries on the event, please email Dennis Custodio.