When it comes to industrial water, there is no onesize-fits-all policy. Effective policies must take into account the risks and leverage the opportunities specific to each country, including available water sources, trends in usage from industrial sector and envisaged changes in economic structure. For instance, the Burmese water policy emphasizes ‘population growth, urbanization and industry use’ as ‘serious challenges to water security’ (1.11)7 . Here, taking stock of the current situation is equally as important as projecting an ideal situation. To trigger positive change, policies should lie on ambitious aspirations.
The first step in developing policy should be prioritization of issues — including an assessment of main polluting industries — and a mapping of domestic water capacities. Such systematic account of major polluting industries allowed the Philippines to strategically target pulp and paper, furniture, construction and the plastic industry in its plan to green the manufacturing industry8 . This step will help establish the sectoral breakdown and the sizing of the industrial sector. Assessing the size is just as important as identifying the main sectors as small family-ran manufactures may call for different policy tools than large industries.