Water, Gender, and Poverty in Cambodia’s Stung Chinit Watershed

December 4, 2019

Blog Post

Cambodia’s Stung Chinit Watershed is one of the world’s most productive ecosystems, but it is also among Cambodia’s poorest regions, where inequalities of gender and poverty can make water for drinking and agriculture scarce or unavailable.


Voices from the Field: Kosi Basin

October 11, 2019


Following from The Asia Foundation’s political economy analysis on the Kosi Basin, we conducted dialogues in communities along the river, both in India and in Nepal to gain an understanding of local knowledge and perceptions of current basin management, against the backdrop of annual flooding. This video showcases the lives of women in the Kosi bas… Read more


The Gender Dimensions of a Changing Climate

September 25, 2019

Blog Post

The biennial conference of the Women’s Funding Network, which took place in San Francisco September 11–13, provided an opportunity for The Asia Foundation to convene the panel “Gender and Climate Justice: Lessons from Asia and the Pacific.” The changing climate is arguably the biggest issue of our time, and the follow-on effects of environmental di… Read more


Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Young Leaders and the Future of Pakistan

July 25, 2018

Program Snapshot Post

Recently, youth leaders from around Pakistan gathered to examine some of the most critical issues facing Pakistan: the water crisis and governance challenges in the water sector, and energy, food, and sustainable and efficient ways forward. The Asia Foundation, in partnership with the School of Leadership, organized a panel discussion on “Water-Ene… Read more

The picture shows a stagnant pool of polluted water near buildings in Pakistan 

Pakistan’s Water: A Political-Economy Perspective

June 20, 2018

Blog Post

Pakistan receives average rainfall of not more than 250mm per year, making it one of the most arid and most water-stressed countries on the planet. A 2016 WaterAid report estimates Pakistan’s annual water availability at 1,017 cubic meters per person, compared to 5,000 cubic meters per person in 1950. If current trends continue, the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources warns, Pakistan will find itself at absolute water scarcity by 2025.

Water gathering 

Pakistan’s Water Crisis: Why a National Water Policy is Needed

November 1, 2017

Blog Post

Recently, the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) delivered a grave warning: if the government does not take action, the country will run out of water by 2025. Severe water scarcity is already having a negative impact on the country’s public health and the economy. Over 80 percent of water supplied is considered unsafe, and wate… Read more

Bangladesh Dhaka 

The Promising Future of Inland Waterway Trade in South Asia

May 10, 2017

Blog Post

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s four-day state visit to India last month, her first in seven years, was productive by any measure. Twenty-two agreements, spanning defense cooperation, nuclear energy, and outer space were inked. The relationship has been one of the bright spots for cooperation in South Asia, and has steadily gained moment… Read more

Small business owner in Mongolia 

Businesses Navigate Troubled Waters in Mongolia

December 14, 2016

Blog Post

Mongolia is facing challenging times economically, especially compared to four or five years ago when the country was growing at a breakneck speed of 17 percent, that today is down to just 1.3 percent. The drop is a result of slumping demand for minerals, and for mineral-rich Mongolia this has spelled bad news for business. Small businesses, which… Read more


Tackling South Asia’s Water Crisis: Can Civil Society Help?

September 21, 2016

Blog Post

Last week, widespread mob violence broke out in India’s high-tech capital, Bangalore, over a Supreme Court order that requires the state of Karnataka to release 15,000 cubic feet of water per second per day from the Cauvery river to the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. The violence, which left two dead and hundreds arrested, stems from a decades-lo… Read more


Civil Society Fund to Support Engagement on Transboundary Water Issues in South Asia

March 16, 2016

Blog Post

South Asia’s major rivers are critical to economic growth and food and energy security, but these rivers have sustained considerable stress from population growth and industrial development. The Asia Foundation has launched a new Civil Society Fund that supports community and civil society engagement on transboundary water issues in the South Asia… Read more


World Water Day: Access to Clean Water for Mongolia’s Northernmost Province

March 16, 2016

Blog Post

Traveling in Mongolia during the winter can prove challenging, and our journey last month was no exception. Our team was traveling to the northernmost Khuvsgul province, 700 kilometers from the capital of Ulaanbaatar, to visit communities…


From the World Water Forum: A Look at South Asia’s Regional Cooperation on Water

April 15, 2015

Blog Post

South Asia has witnessed rapid social and economic transformation over the last two decades. Undeterred by a global slowdown, the region’s economic growth rate is expected to remain at a respectable 6 and 6.4 percent for 2015 and 2016….


The Asia Foundation at the Seventh World Water Forum

April 8, 2015

Blog Post

The seventh World Water Forum, the world’s largest water event, kicks off April 12 in Daegu, Korea. The Asia Foundation’s Mandakini Surie joins experts and high-level officials to discuss pressing global water challenges. The Foundation will present a side event on the Mekong-Ganga Dialogue, organized by New Delhi’s Observer Research Foundation and… Read more


South Asia’s Water Crisis: A Problem of Scarcity Amid Abundance

March 25, 2015

Blog Post

The latest United Nations World Water Development Report, released just ahead of World Water Day on March 22, warns that, by 2030, only 60 percent of the world’s demand for water will be met by existing resources at the current rate of use.


World Water Day 2015: Links We Like

March 18, 2015

Blog Post

March 22 is World Water Day, and this year’s theme is focused on water and sustainable development. The relationship between water and development is particularly critical in the Asia-Pacific region, one of the most water-stressed regions in the world, and home to 61 percent of the world’s people, with a population expected to reach five billion by 2050.


Water Festival Highlights Phnom Penh’s Mounting Waste Management Problems

November 5, 2014

Blog Post

Every year as the monsoon rains in Cambodia ease and the Mekong River’s flow subsides, the largest lake in Cambodia, the Tonle Sap, begins its annual drain of the Central Cambodian flood plain. The Tonle Sap is a unique lake/river system in the world…


Desecuritizing Transboundary Water in South Asia

September 17, 2014

Blog Post

Severe floods in the Kashmir region of Northern India and Pakistan over the past few weeks have taken 450 lives so far, and uprooted thousands of residents on both sides of the highly politicized border. Heavy monsoon rains caused the Chenab and Jhelum rivers (tributaries of the Indus River system) to overflow their banks…


Water Scarcity a Threat to Mongolia’s Sustainable Development

September 17, 2014

Blog Post

A new report from the Asian Development Bank sent a warning signal to Mongolia that, despite its wealth of natural resources and pristine image, the country faces a severe water scarcity and quality crisis – one that could leave its growing capital…


Photo Blog: Critical Issue – Climate Change & Water Resource Management

September 17, 2014

Blog Post

Images of the major rivers of Asia – including the mighty Mekong that snakes through Southeast Asia and the Ganges and other revered rivers that bisect the subcontinent – might seem at odds with the sobering fact that Asia is the world’s driest…


Transparency Needed for South Asia Transboundary Water Cooperation

March 19, 2014

Blog Post

In 2008, Nepal and India experienced one of the worst river disasters in their modern history, when the Kosi River breached an embankment flooding vast areas of terai Nepal and northeastern parts of Bihar, India. The floods caused tremendous loss of human life and property, affecting an estimated 50,000 Nepalis and 3.5 million Indians. A tributary of the Ganges and a transboundary river that flows through Tibet, Nepal, and India, the Kosi River is prone to seasonal variations in river flow and sediment discharge, resulting in frequent downstream floods.


Better Urban Water Management Needed for Asia’s Cities

March 19, 2014

Blog Post

By 2050, estimates predict that close to 70 percent of the world will live in cities. Asia is home to 17 of the 25 most densely populated cities in the world, and the mass migration from the countryside to Asia’s cities is “unprecedented in human history” and has significant environmental consequences, according to the Asian Development Bank.


Asia: The World’s Most Water-Stressed Continent

March 21, 2012

Blog Post

Tomorrow is World Water Day. Tragically, by the end of the day, 4,300 children somewhere in the world will have died because of contaminated water and poor sanitation. That’s one child every every 20 seconds. This is an appalling statistic, but still represents a marked improvement from 12 years ago…