Monday, February 20, 2012

With development beckoning Myanmar, national water policy needed

Aye Sapay Phyu the Myanmar Times: A national water policy should be drafted before it is too late to sustain and develop the country’s water resources, a retired deputy director general of the Irrigation Department said last month.

“Myanmar has abundant water resources but it has plans to develop [its economy] and also the challenge of climate change. In this context, problems can happen with water resources so it is not too early to lay down a national water policy,” U Zaw Win said at a paper-reading session at the Myanmar Engineering Society on January 13.

He said expansion of agriculture, urban and industrial uses for land would place greater strain on water resources and possibly harm water quality. The largest consumer of water is the agriculture sector, with irrigated farmland increasing from 4.7 million acres (1.9 million hectares) in 2000-01 to 5.7 million acres (2.3 million hectares) at the end of the 2008-09 financial year.

Domestic and industrial water needs have also increased, while demand for hydropower generation is likely to grow in future. “Water is already a scarce resource but will become even scarcer in the future. Another important aspect is water quality. Improvements to existing strategies are needed to raise awareness of the importance of [conducting environmental impact assessments]. Development in urban areas also needs to be sustainable, and water plays an important role in that.”

U Zaw Win said planning and implementation of water-related projects involved a number of issues, such as environmental sustainability, dam safety, forest degradation and water quality deterioration....

Inle Lake in Myanmar, shot by Maurice Marcellin, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

1 comment:

aquasafe said...

"A national water policy should be drafted before it is too late to sustain and develop the country’s water resources..."

Pretty strong words. But water is vital, so perhaps appropriately strong.