The Asia Pacific region has the largest land area in the world and with it comes an impressive endowment of renewable freshwater resources at 21,135 billion cubic meters. Although absolute natural endowment is high, the region’s natural water resources support about 60% of the world’s population with 38% of the world’s water resources. With this uneven distribution between supply and demand, the Asia Pacific region faces uncertainties in water, which is essential for inclusive and sustainable development.
Extreme hydro-meteorological events of floods and droughts have been reported to have increased in intensities and occurrences in Asia and the Pacific due emission of Green House Gases (GHGs) resulting in global warming.
Water hazards, from extreme events of cyclones, floods and droughts are part of climate variability. Observed changes in the climatic conditions include increased warming of temperature over several decades. This has been linked to changes in the large-scale hydrological cycle such as: increasing atmospheric water vapor content; changing precipitation patterns, intensity and extremes; reduced snow cover and widespread melting of ice; and changes in soil moisture and runoff.
These observed climatic changes have steadily increased hydrologic extremes in Asia and the Pacific. Changes in weather patterns influence precipitation, temperature, and potential evapo-transpiration, as well as the occurrence and severity of droughts. Extreme weather events cause changes in the water balance, changes in snow cover, and melting glaciers as well as sea level rise, impacting not only water supply for the various services but also other agricultural production factors of crops and soil. A study of historical flood records in China illustrates that along with population growth the occurrence of flood disasters has also increased, suggesting that an increasing number of people are living in vulnerable, flood plain locations. Floods and storms bring loss of life and huge economic costs."
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The Development of Eco-efficient Water Infrastructure in Asia and the Pacific