IWMI's research portfolio in Asia is organized into three sub-regions, these are South Asia, South East Asia and Central Asia managed separately. The regional office for Asia is located at IWMI headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Research activities in Asia focus on reducing poverty and improving food security through efficient management of water and land resources. Some of the critical issues faced by Asian countries are poverty, water scarcity, drought, floods, land degradation, low productivity, inequitable distribution of water, water pollution and groundwater overdraft.
IWMI's research in Asia focuses on the following key areas:
- Integrated Water Resources Management
- Improving Water Productivity and Water Quality
- Rehabilitation of Degraded Lands
- Livelihood Strategies and Best Practices
- Sustainable Watershed Development
- Drought Mitigation
- Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture
- Policy Recommendations and Institutional Reform
IWMI Central Asia
In Central Asia IWMI's country office is located in Uzbekistan (Tashkent).
Central Asia faces a number of challenges. Land, water and environmental degradation, combined with the near collapse of many of the former Soviet institutions are major constraints. Yet, a resurgent agricultural sector has the potential to offer livelihood opportunities for rural communities. IWMI's work in this sub-region is focused on improving the management of degraded land and water resources and on recreating the necessary institutional arrangements to manage water resources. Two major projects IWMI is currently working on in Central Asia are on improving water management institutions in the Ferghana Valley and reversing land degradation through its "Bright Spots" project.
Download Central Asia Brochure (230KB)
There are 6 researchers working in Central Asia assisted by research support staff.
IWMI South Asia
In the South Asia sub-region, has offices in India (Hyderabad and Delhi), Pakistan (Lahore) and Nepal (Katmandu), and has on-going activities in Bangladesh. IWMI's sub-regional office for South Asia is based at the ICRISAT campus in Hyderabad, India.
The economic growth in the region in recent years has presented opportunities for improving the productivity of the water and land resources and reducing poverty, yet it also presents challenges to ensure that the demand for these resources does not further impact the poor and the environment. While the proportion of the population living in rural areas in South Asia is expected to decline, the absolute number is projected to continue to increase.
IWMI's benchmark basin in the sub-region is the Krishna, but activities have also focused on the Indo-Gangetic plain. Within the Krishna basin, IWMI implements a number of interrelated activities aimed at improving water productivity, and reducing water and land poverty. IWMI is also mapping the water-land-poverty nexus in the lower Krishna basin to identify and locate the poor within the basin, and study possible linkages between poverty and access to water and land. IWMI research shows that around 88 per cent of the Indian population lives in basins with some form of water scarcity or food production deficit, and that an increasing population and growing economy will further challenge the demands on the resource.
With the goal of developing country-specific mitigation options, IWMI is conducting research on wastewater irrigation in India (Hyderabad), Pakistan (Faislebad), and Nepal (Kathmandu) to determine the risks and benefits of this expanding practice in the sub-region. The Institute is also looking at the challenges associated with groundwater and the implications of the water-energy nexus.
Download South Asia Brochure (578KB)
There are 14 researchers working in South Asia assisted by research support staff.
IWMI Southeast Asia
In Southeast Asia, IWMI's sub-regional office is located in Malaysia,(Penang), at WorldFish Headquarters. There are also offices located in Cambodia, (Phnom Penn) Laos ( Vientiane) and Vietnam (Hanoi)
IWMI carries out research in the Mekong river basin, where the strategic focus is on degraded lands and water resources as well as on the interactions between agriculture and the environment. The indiscriminate discharge of wastewater, heavy metal contamination and the impact of inappropriate land management practices in highly incised catchments have a negative impact on water quality, affecting downstream users and communities dependant on these resources for their livelihoods.
IWMI's research in the region includes the development and adoption of appropriate management practices that enhance water quality in upper catchments of Lao PDR, Vietnam and Thailand; the establishment of functional water user associations to manage rehabilitated irrigation schemes in Cambodia and the rehabilitation of degraded rainfed production systems in Northeast Thailand.
IWMI provides guidelines and recommendations for policymakers in the region and has helped resolve conflicts between rice growers and fishers through appropriate water allocation in the Mekong delta.
Download South East Asia Brochure (218KB)
There are 14 researchers working in Southeast Asia assisted by research support staff.