In Asia and the Pacific, the proper removal and disposal of sewage and other polluted waters have been a major problem to governments for years and continue to present a serious challenge. In many countries in the ESCAP region, domestic sewage and industrial effluent are often discharged without the required treatment into water streams, reservoirs or aquifers, resulting in heavy pollution of the aquatic environment. Polluted water sources ha\.e become unsuitable for other uses, primarily the supply of potable water, and pose a threat to public health. Sewage is also identified as a major, land-based source of marine environment pollution.
The introduction and implementation of sound wastewater management policies and practices are thus of vital importance to a large number of the countries in the ESCAP region, Wastewater management clearly needs to be incorporated into the overall comprehensive management of water resources, with the objective of providing adequate and sustainable \\'water supplies to meet present and future demands in an environmentally sound and economically efficient manner,
In order to provide assistance to the efforts by developing countries and economies in transition in the Asian and Pacific region to achieve sustainable use of water resources for social and economic purposes through improved wastewater management, a regional project on wastewater management improvement has been implemented by the ESCAP secretariat. Funding for the project has been provided by the Government of Japan.
Under the project, a regional survey of wastewater management practices and policies has been carried out with a view to gaining an overall picture of wastewater management activities in the region as well as identifying major management problems and areas for improvement. The draft survey report, prepared on the basis of the completed questionnaires returned from 21 countries, was presented at the Regional Workshop on Wastewater Management in Asia and the Pacific held at Bangkok from 2 to 5 November 1999. The Workshop, which was attended by some 30 participants, representing the governments of 16 members and associated members of ESCAP, several international agencies and private sector companies, reviewed and finalized the draft survey report for publication. The finalized survey report constitutes Part One of the present publication.
During the Workshop, the exchange of experiences on national wastewater management activities also took place. Part Two contains several studies on wastewater management policies and practices in selected countries of the region that were presented at the Workshop.
Furthermore, the participants discussed and formulated recommendations for action on improving wastewater management. The recommendations, approved at the Workshop, are contained in Part Three.