Regional and Country Scale Water Resource Assessment

RCC_waterresourceassessmentInforming Investments in Future Water Supply in the Asia Pacific Region – a Decision Support Tool

How to design a valid and transparent process for high level assessments of water needs; that can be applied at several scales, provides interactive knowledge management and supports collective learning processes?

What did the project do?

The project developed a decision support methodology and tool for assessing the water needs of different locations. The decision support tool is designed to inform investments in future water supply in the Asia Pacific region.

What did the project produce?

  • A methodology for assessing the multiple dimensions of water needs in countries and regions; as well as incorporating a range of information types
  • A prototype software tool for applying and visualizing the Water Needs Index; and instructions for how to make this a full-scale knowledge sharing and assessment tool
  • Three case studies using the methodology:
    1. For 29 countries in the Asia-Pacific region
    2. For the Mekong River Basin
    3. For the islands of Kiribati

How can the project make a difference to development?

In the full-scale web-based application, the decision support tool:

  • identifies the needs and symptoms relating to inadequate water and sanitation and identifies hotspots requiring attention. In this way:
    1. It supports discussion around water and sanitation needs in different locations; in particular it can serve as a bridge between different responsible departments
    2. In future versions, assuming adequate information, it has the potential to identify suitable intervention strategies for different local contexts and circumstances.
  • by providing a structure for information, and identifying knowledge gaps, it supports knowledge management; linking donor agencies, experts and local water managers and allowing them to share data; and as such:
    1. Will help local water managers to access and utilize data that is available in the system
    2. Can inform further information collection and collaborative arrangements to source data etc.


Project report – Regional and Country Scale Water Resource Assessment; Informing Investments in Future Water Supply in the Asia Pacific Region – a Decision Support Tool, 2008

Paper – Water Needs Assessment: learning to deal with scale, subjectivity and high stakes June 2010