Myanmar Dialogue Addresses Governance

Posted: 2010-10-21

At a GWP Myanmar-organized dialogue on 19-20 August 2010 participants concluded that government institutions responsible for water must provide national legislation and policies to foster an integrated approach to managing the country’s water resources. The dialogue, “Formulation of Coordination Mechanism to Engage Institutional Reforms to Foster IWRM among Government Institutions,” was a follow-up to last year’s dialogue. Capacity building training workshops on IWRM were also organized by GWP Myanmar in September.

The subjects discussed at the dialogue included:

• Coordination mechanism to engage institutional reforms,

• Formulation of these coordination mechanism to engage institutional reforms has to be found out,

• Based on these formulations, implementation of these institutional reforms will be followed in the future.

Myanmar is a country endowed with abundant water resources. The catchment area of Myanmar's ten principal river basins comprises about 737800 km². Potential water resources volume is about 1082 km³ for surface water and 495 cubic km for groundwater as well constitute national water resources annually.

As an agro-base country of Myanmar, water utilization for agricultural sector stands for 90% while industry and domestic use is only about 10% of the total water use. The total utilization of the nation's water resources is only about 5 percent of the potential. It is clear that the physical potential for further development of water resources in Myanmar is quite substantial.

However, with the increase of population and enhanced need for water for economic activities, there is increasing pressure on use of surface water and extraction of groundwater. Control and management of surface water and groundwater is therefore important for sustainable development of the country in future.

The participants concluded that central, provincial and local government institutions responsible for water resources management and water use management will provide national legislation and policies required to foster IWRM, implement institutional reform, put better coordination mechanism into operation, improve understanding and develop effective tools to meet challenges related to climate change and water disaster, improve water supply and water quality management system, and improve water resources management financing system.

Capacity building training workshops on IWRM was also organized by the Myanmar Water Partnership in September with the focus on Soil and Water Conservation and Rainwater Harvesting and River Basin management to raise about implementing IWRM concepts for sustainable management of water resources and of the need to introduce new institutional arrangements for water resources management, including organizations to manage water resources at the basin level.

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