Breaking Asia’s Data Drought

Many parts of Asia have been gripped by searing temperatures and the worst drought in decades. Millions of people face shortages of food or water, leading to the loss of lives, livelihoods, crops, and livestock.

Already, the Water Accounting Plus software system – developed by UNESCO-IHE, the International Water Management Institute, and the Food and Agriculture Organization – uses open-access remote-sensing data to assess land use, rainfall, and temperature. The data enable the system to determine how much water is available in a river basin, how much is being used for various purposes, and how water use has changed over time.

With such information, countries like Cambodia and Vietnam can confront the surge in water demand they face. To help propel them toward that goal, UNESCO-IHE, with support from the Asian Development Bank, has been working with their governments – as well as the authorities in India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan – to create a pilot program to answer key questions about land and water use.

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