Asia and the Pacific is one of the most water-scarce regions in the world. It has 60% of the world’s population but only 36% of its water resources. The region is also the most vulnerable to natural hazards, accounting for 57% of fatalities and 88% of people affected as a result of these events since 1970. This vulnerability is compounded by climate change — with growing impacts on local economies, communities, and the environment — as well as by the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and sustained pressures on water security and access throughout the region.
Building holistic resilience is the best way to combat and reduce these threats. Resilience means "to bounce back". When applied to water, it refers to water systems and services that can weather and recover from shocks while remaining adaptable to — and prepared for — an uncertain future. Water resilience goes beyond climate uncertainty, extreme weather events, and even pandemics. Water resilience means water entities and partners are prepared to thrive amid all challenges, including social and inequality issues, instability, and financing constraints.
A major untapped opportunity to build resilience is through digitalization. The adoption of technology has been frustratingly slow in the water sector, despite evidence of the success of digital solutions across a wide range of applications. Water ranks one of the lowest in digitalization uptake among development sectors.
The Hub aims to not only create awareness, but also assist water entities finding curated solutions to start developing resilient systems
The Asia and the Pacific Water Resilience Hub, developed and managed by the Water Sector Group of the Asian Development Bank is an open platform dedicated to strengthening water security in the region by establishing partnerships; providing training opportunities; and developing and sharing knowledge products, innovative methods, tools, data, and digital technologies. This is summarized by the motto of the Hub: “Connect, Collaborate and Capacitate”.
The Asia and the Pacific Water Resilience Hub provides specific entryways for water entities and partners to build towards sustainable and inclusive water resilience and security for the region. It brings together water experts, policy makers, resource managers, and water implementers to collectively address water resilience to enable countries and water entities better weather and prepare for natural hazards, climate change, water insecurity, and social and economic crises. Through the Hub tools, trainings and knowledge produced by multiple partners across the world are made readily available to others partners who may be facing similar issues.
Why develop a new Hub when so many Hubs already exist? First, the primary target audience of this Hub is different when compared to most existing Hubs. The Asia and the Pacific Water Resilience Hub has, as primary audience, the water agencies working at the ground level, where climate change effects are primarily felt, and where resilience is needed. Also, the Hub aims to not only create awareness, but also assist water entities finding curated solutions to start developing resilient systems or embark towards resilient pathways. Training programmes are developed following specific demands from the agencies in the region. An example is the programme recently launched called “AID” (Accelerating Innovation and Digitalization) which aims to make water innovation more accessible in Asia and the Pacific by building the knowledge and capacity of ADB’s developing member countries and ADB staff to engage, localize and adopt innovative solutions for a water-secure region.
If you want to find out how you and your organization can connect, collaborate, and help build capacities of water entities toward a more resilient, more sustainable, more inclusive, and a more water-secure Asia and the Pacific, please do not hesitate to contact us via the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.