CAN THO (VNS)— Major countries in Asia including Viet Nam are likely to face severe water crises in the coming decades and regional and international co-operation will be crucial to tackling them.
Experts attending the Asia-Europe Meeting that wrapped up last Friday in Mekong Delta Can Tho City also agreed that water resource management has become a pressing global issue.
They said water sources play a decisive role in energy and food, production, and the management of trans-boundary resources in particular needs greater national, regional and international co-operation.
The challenge has become tougher as the impacts of climate change become evident, they added.
The delegates said achieving food security, energy security and sustainable urban growth in the context of climate change requires massive shifts in water management practices and co-operation.
Brahma Chellaney, Professor of Strategic Studies at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, said national and regional co-operation on trans-boundary water resources needs good political conditions.
When the relationship between countries is put under pressure of historical and territorial disputes, co-operation on water management is difficult to realise, he said.
He warned that in the future, the driest continent in the world will be Asia, not Africa, due the low efficiency of current water use and management.
In Asia, China, India, Viet Nam, South Korea, and Japan are going to face a huge pressure on water sources, and the situation will get worse in the next three or four decades, he said. — VNS