Asia Water Council: collaborating for water security and the SDGs

The Asia Water Council (AWC) held its 6th Board of Council meeting in Bangkok on 24-26 May. The AWC works to promote sustainable growth by solving water issues in Asia, and its Board of Council is comprised of representatives from 25 of its 100 member organisations.

Prof Nick Schofield, AWP CEO, and Dr Marian Neal, AWP Partnerships and Knowledge Manager, were invited to participate in the AWC Board of Council meeting by Hak-Soo Lee, President of the AWC, Thongplew Kongjun, Director of the Thailand General Royal Irrigation Department, and Somkiat Prajamwong, Secretary General at the Thailand Office of the National Water Resources.

While AWP is not a formal AWC member, Prof Schofield and Dr Neal were recently appointed Chair and Deputy Chair respectively of the Strategy and Policy Special Committee, which is charged with developing and implementing strategies to effect solutions identified and agreed by the AWC.

On 25 May, AWC’s seven Special Committees—each leading an overarching water theme—gathered to discuss Committee initiatives and proposed sessions for the 2nd Asia International Water Week (AIWW), which will be held in 2020. The Strategy and Policy Special Committee suggested a session focusing on water security across Asia from a strategy and policy perspective, linking to sustainable economic growth and the Sustainable Development Goals. This proposal was well received by other attendees and Prof Schofield will attend the formal launch of AIWW 2020 at Singapore International Water Week on 10 July.

To develop this session theme further, an initiative to explore water security in Asia was proposed, with an initial partnership to be formed between AWP and the Korea Water Resources Association (K-Water), with UNESCO International Centre for Water Security and Sustainable Management (i-WSSM) operating via K-Water initially.

Asia Water Council Board Council Members (May 2018)

Asia Water Council Board Council Members (May 2018)

Prof Nick Schofield (2nd from right) at the 6th AWC Board Council meeting.

Prof Nick Schofield (2nd from right) at the 6th AWC Board Council meeting.

The Strategy and Policy Special Committee plans to undertake an analysis of definitions, current knowledge, methods and tools used in water security initiatives in Asia; to identify case studies in member countries; and for each case study, identify good policies and strategies, lessons learnt, links between water security economic development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

AWP is pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with AWC members in pursuit of a shared vision, and Dr Neal will attend the next Council meeting in Korea on 10-11 September 2018.

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