The district of Cameron Highlands is subjected to a range of environmental problems, ranging from landslides, mudslides, erosion, siltation to water woes. Action was taken by the WWF advocating sustainable highland development to safeguard Cameron Highlands’ delicate ecosystem. Furthermore, through community initiative, the Regional Environmental Awareness of Cameron Highlands was created. This case highlights the value of cooperation between NGOs and community initiatives.
Clearing for logging, combined with expanding agriculture and palm oil plantations has led to increased flooding, and pollution of the Kinabatangan River due to pesticides and fertilizers. Working in partnership, the Sabah Wildlife Department and the WWF took action and have established the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. The key lesson of this case is the value of starting with small-scale feasible projects before scaling up.
To increase agricultural productivity, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation has encouraged many farmers to organise water users groups. Yields are to be increased through the collaborative and efficient participation of beneficiary farmers engaged in irrigation. This has led to efficient water distribution throughout the managed watercourse. The most important lesson learnt is the importance of the strengthening of each water user group.
The Khimti 1 Hydropower Project was initiated to increase hydropower supply in Nepal. Action was taken to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment to identify promotion of livelihood, economic enhancement and social well being of the project area communities. The project formulated an Environmental Monitoring Plan as well as environmental mitigation and monitoring programme. The key lesson to learn is the importance of assessment prior to the development of any project.
International donors have poured money into developing Nepal’s irrigation infrastructures since the late-1950s, but results remain only partly successful. At present, irrigation infrastructures have been developed to serve 1.331 million ha but the irrigation potential is estimated to about 1.76 million ha. The Irrigation Water Resources Management Project is one of the latest international aid efforts aimed to developing the irrigation facilities while improving Nepal’s institutional framework pertaining to water infrastructure projects. The importance of adequate and timely finance, well-defined administrative roles and institutional capacity building are part of the key lessons learned from this project.
Nepal is particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts for a variety of environmental, social, and economic reasons. Average temperatures have been rising steadily since the 1970s. Most of the mountain ranges within Nepal are home to extensive glaciers which are experiencing widespread retreat. Glacial discharge in turn impacts the hydrological regimes of rivers downstream and causes rapid growth of glacial lakes; glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs) are one of many climate change phenomena with the potential to pose extreme risk to populations, infrastructure, etc.
Karachi was characterised by inadequate water and sanitation services and wasteful and injudicious use of water by consumers. To address these issues, the Karachi Water Partnership was formed as a platform for collective action by all concerned stakeholders to better manage water resources through IWRM. The experience illustrates that there can be great value in simply improving the existing delivery mechanisms as a compliment to the implementation of new ideas.
The Indus River is a major transboundary river in Asia with nine tributaries. The River is about 2,800km long, with 2,682 km in Pakistan. The Indus drainage basin covers an area of about 1,140,000 km2 stretching from Afghanistan through China, India, and Pakistan. Monsoonal rains are the most important flood-causing factor in the Indus basin, followed by the size, shape, and land-use of the catchments as well as the conveyance capacity of the corresponding streams. The monsoon rains fall from June to September, and are generally intense and widespread.
Decades of underinvestment led to poor water and wastewater services and low coverage in Manila. Due to this poor service, the government was unable to increase its water tariffs due to customers’ unwillingness to pay. This situation translated into very low cash flows for the government, thus leading again to the issue of underinvestment, which soon turned to a vicious cycle.
Due to temporal and spatial variability of rainfalls, Sri Lanka experience local scarcity. Furthermore, most water resources are used for irrigation, and little is left for industry and domestic use. Action was taken towards policy reform but these reforms were, however, nationally desired but externally designed, leading to failure since they did not account for the Sri Lankan context. This case study thus illustrates the crucial importance of national anchoring of policies.