For the second year in a row, World Water Day comes at a time when the world continues to grapple with containing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). While ensuring vaccines are deployed is critical, it is equally important to consider ways to rebuild and prevent any future crises, whether due to climate change or water scarcity.

Thus, the theme for World Water Day 2021 – Valuing Water – is most relevant to the times. How people value water determines how water is managed, used, and conserved. Water has a myriad of values—for households, communities, public health, agriculture, industries and economy, and the environment.

In this video, a diverse set of people from Asia, including partners and beneficiaries in ADB developing member countries, voice their views on the value of water and how this precious resource can be better protected. World Water Day, after all, is a reminder to take stock and examine this everyday element to encourage individual and collective action.


The Value of Water: Voices of Asia

Ronald S. Abrigo
Deputy Administrator (Innovation and Technology Group), Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (Philippines) (voiceover):

There is no doubt that our world is changing. The spotlight may have temporarily shifted to acquiring the vaccines against the COVID-19 virus, but it is equally important to value water.

Water means life.
Water is life.
Water is life.
Water gives life.
Water is the basis of my existence.

Mamadjonov Nekruz
Translator, Project Implementation Group (Tajikistan):

It is the foundation of life, our most precious commodity, and our most contested resource.

Na Won Kim
Senior Urban Development Specialist, South Asia Department, Asian Development Bank:

Often, we take advantage of the most essential element of our lives. Unlike many of us, there are millions of people who do not have clean water access and are vulnerable to disease. I’m Na Won Kim from ADB’s South Asia Department. I’m working in India, helping people to get clean water access and promote the sustainable use of this valuable resource.

Sun Yangbo
Director, International Cooperation Division, Yellow River Conservancy Commission:

I am from the Yellow River Conservancy Commission. The Yellow River is an important ecological corridor and economic belt in (the People’s Republic of) China. It is our mission to protect the river and achieve high-quality sustainable development for the benefit and happiness of Chinese people.

Yaozhou Zhou
Principal Water Resources Specialist, Central and West Asia Department, Asian Development Bank:

Three words for ADB to do better: engage, invest, and scale up.

Truong Cong Nam
Chairman, HueWACO (Viet Nam):

We shall plant more trees and shall not throw garbage or discharge contaminated water into the water source to protect the basin.

Sengchan Kongmany
Project Beneficiary, Chomcheng Village, Long District, Luang Namtha Province (Lao People’s Democratic Republic):

Long district now has a complete water treatment plant. We, all ethnic groups in Long district, will protect the water source, especially keeping this Long river clean so there is enough water for long term use. Thank you.

Kriz Songco
Project Analyst, South Asia Department, Asian Development Bank:

I’m from the South Asia Department of ADB. I’m part of the team that is administering an urban water supply and sanitation project in Nepal. The project aims to provide access to piped water supply for 320,000 people in 20 project municipalities and provide access to improved sanitation facilities for 65,000 people.

Water is life.
Water is for everyone.
How do you value water?

Geoff Wilson
Senior Water Resources Specialist, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank:

Water is my pastime. Water is my profession.

Coral Fernandez Illescas
Principal Water Resources Specialist, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank:

Water is my sanctuary and my vocation.

Yu Feng
Lake Protection Volunteer, Huanggang, the People’s Republic of China:

I’m a lake protection volunteer. The lakes and rivers have been greatly improved in recent years, thanks to the efforts of water managers and volunteers. Let’s start with ourselves, protect the clean water and clear streams.

Neeta Pokhrel
Project Administration Unit Head, South Asia Department, Asian Development Bank:

Water at my own tap means freedom to me. Freedom to not have to fetch water. Freedom from disease. It’s my human right.

Ziqing Huang
Project Beneficiary, the People’s Republic of China:

Grandma used to fetch water from the river for drinking. Mom used to lift water from the wells for drinking. Now I drink water from taps. Water is more and more precious. Let’s protect every drop!