Asia has achieved impressive growth in economic and social welfare during the last decades. Good water management and human capital development remain vital to support economic growth and increase overall social wellbeing in Asia and the Pacific, especially after the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Despite the achievements in Asia and the Pacific (home to 60% of the world’s population), 1.5 billion people living in rural areas and 0.6 billion in urban areas still lack adequate water supply and sanitation. Of the 49 Asian Development Bank (ADB) members from Asia and the Pacific, 27 face serious water constraints on economic development, and 18 are yet to sufficiently protect their inhabitants against water-related disasters.
This Asian Water Development Outlook (AWDO) report describes the water security status in Asia and the Pacific. Water security in AWDO is the availability of adequate water to ensure safe and affordable water supply, inclusive sanitation for all, improved livelihoods, and healthy ecosystems, with reduced water-related risks toward supporting sustainable and resilient rural–urban economies in the Asia and Pacific region. AWDO has been tracking water security in the region since 2013.