As governments across Asia are searching for ways to increase water security for rural and urban water uses, the need to articulate water rights and improve water allocation practices is rapidly becoming a priority issue to them. The process is made more complex by rapid urbanization, climate change, and other drivers of change.

This paper aims to raise awareness and capacity among member organizations of the Network of Asian River Basin Organizations (NARBO) and their interested groups on the issues surrounding water rights and allocation. This paper examines in more detail the definitions, principles, and characteristics of water rights and water allocation; two approaches to water allocation are outlined