Water Resources in the Asia-Pacific Region: Managing Scarcity


  • The authors wish to acknowledge the able assistance of Roberta V. Gerpacio and Claudia Ringler in the finalisation of this paper.


Irrigation, together with improved crop varieties and substantial growth in fertiliser use in the late 1960s through the early 1980s, was a key factor in stimulating strong agricultural growth in much of the Asia-Pacific region. New sources of water are increasingly expensive to exploit, but irrigation continues to be a major catalyst for agricultural growth. In the face of increasing degradation, the maintenance of the water resource base must be a high priority policy objective. This paper reviews the management of water resources in the Asia-Pacific region, for countries with significant irrigated area: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Korea-DPR, Republic of Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.