Water rights and water allocation: issues and challenges for Asia

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. With the support of the Network of Asian River Basin Organizations (NARBO), practitioners are discovering what role they can play in avoiding and solving problems among stakeholders, and in building an enabling environment for integrated water resources management in river basins. This report builds on the foundation of the five NARBO workshops on water rights. The report aims to: provide practical clarity on the concepts and terminology surrounding water rights and water allocation ; summarize key findings from the cross-country comparisons made during the four workshops held between 2005 and 2007; stimulate in-depth discussion on water rights and identify ways to overcome the challenges of their implementation; and provide inputs for future NARBO and ADB activities to assist governments in the region in improving water rights and water allocation in the context of integrated water resources management.