91% of Asia with better access to water; Singapore most prepared for disasters
MANILA (AP) - Ninety-one per cent of Asians now have improved access to clean water. But the economic and regional divide means the richer you are, the better water supply you will likely get, and the more prepared your government is for natural disasters.
The study, published on Wednesday by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), says countries could be disproportionally affected by the potential impact of climate change such as storms and floods if they did not rethink how they manage water. That includes Asia's rivers, nearly 80 per cent of which are in poor health. Urban populations are growing and so is pollution.
Australia, Singapore and New Zealand top the list of nations best-prepared to cope with floods, droughts and hurricanes. Nepal, Laos and Cambodia are the least prepared. No country is considered "water secure."
No country in the Asia-Pacific region is a model for its management of water services and resources, according to the Manila-based lending and development institution, whose aim is cutting poverty. Thirty-eight developing countries have low levels of water security or have barely begun to improve, and only 11 have set up infrastructure and management systems.