Malaysia urges Asia-Pacific nations to ensure water security

PUTRAJAYA (BERNAMA) - Malaysia has urged Asia-Pacific nations to immediately place water security as part of the national sustainable development agenda, since water scarcity is a major issue worldwide.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Maximus Ongkili said population and economic growth are contributing to the depletion of natural resources, including water.

"As most of the cities and the pace of urbanisation are growing rapidly, the demand for water will put a strain on water resources," Datuk Seri Ongkili said at the third Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Yangon recently.

His speech text was made available to Bernama on Wednesday (Dec 13).

Taking Malaysia as an example, Dr Ongkili said, despite having sufficient rainfall annually, securing and ensuring water sustainability has become crucial for the country,  especially in addressing the balance of the water-energy-food nexus.

He said Malaysia's newly launched Green Technology Master Plan (GTMP) is the latest effort by the government to set the trajectory of  economic growth through the adoption and application of green technology and decoupling energy for economic growth.

Under the GTMP, water and waste were also highlighted, and Malaysia has put into place several initiatives to address the water security issues, including resources used for distribution, utilisation, recovery and treatment, Dr Ongkili said.

Under the waste sector, he added,  there are many regulatory measures and policy directions in place for managing waste with multiple goals to reduce waste generation per capita and to turn waste into a source of wealth.