Asia’s looming water crisis is a function of poor water management, not physical water scarcity, affirms the first comprehensive analysis of water security in the region published by the Asian Development Bank last week.
At the heart of this crisis is the region’s ailing river systems. 80 per cent of Asia’s rivers are in poor health, says the report, overwhelmed by pollution and uncoordinated development of water resources. About US$1.75 trillion in ecosystem services per year are threatened.
China’s Yellow River comes out top as Asia’s most unhealthy river. The rivers of Armenia and India follow close behind. All these rivers suffer from inappropriate water resource developments that have substantially changed the flow regime, including hydropower, impoundments, flood control, and diversions.
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