This special evaluation study assesses the implementation o ADB’s water policy and the perormance o related operations,identies lessons and issues,and makes recommendations to inorm uture decision making on water sector operations in ADB’s developing member countries.Key evaluation questions ocus on relevance, consistency, and adequacy o the water policy; ADB’s responsiveness or how it implemented the policy; and results so ar, including eectiveness in achieving outputs and outcomes, process and project efciency in resource use, and likelihood o the sustainability o net benets.
ater remains one o the greatest global challenges. Signicant improvementsare needed in water management policies and practices to sustain livesand ood production, support larger urban populations, and improveenvironmental sustainability in the Asia and Pacic region and in the world.While the pressures on the world’s water resources are great, progress was madein several areas over the past decade. Many multilateral and bilateral aid agencieshave provided assistance or improving water and sanitation in developing countries.ADB, on its part, has established its water policy in response to water crisis which isclosely linked to poverty and potential regionaldisputes. The water policy treats water as both asocial and economic good and acknowledgesthe undamental distinction between “
water as a resource
” and “
water as a service
”. Theseprinciples help eorts to improve suboptimalnational policies and practices in the water sector. The policy supports ADB’s strategy or povertyreduction by promoting participation o the poorin water management, supports ADB’s strategyor public-private participation, and aims tocatalyze a national ocus on water sector reormin its developing member countries (DMCs).
Consistency and Adequacy of ADB’s Water Policy and Related Operations
The policy is rated
In general, ADB’s lending operations have refected the policy well.
The ADB water policy is largely consistent with that o other multilateraldevelopment banks.
ADB’s Response to Water Sector Issues and Water Policy Implementation
ADB’s response to water sector issues has been sound, but in some cases slow orlimited.
In the area o private sector investment in the water sector, ADB has laggedbehind other multilateral lenders.
The ability or willingness o governments to implement covenants has beenvariable.
Both public and private operations can be ecient.
A driving orce behind the policy and its implementation has been the water-related Millennium Development Goals.
Sanitation objectives are ar rom attainment.
Irrigation and drainage projects have proved to be among the more dicult watersubsectors, with a success rate o 54.5% overall.
A cautious approach is necessary in assisting DMCs in subregional cooperationto increase awareness and share international good practices in water resourcemanagement.
Achievements of ADB Assistance under the Policy
ADB assistance has contributed to water policy development in Asia in areassuch as water sector governance including institutional capacity development,tari reorms, regulatory ramework, and water conservation.
Water Policy and Related Operations
Many residents in the southern Philippineisland of Mindanao do not have easy access topotable water in their homes. The MindanaoAgrarian Reform Communities Project - fundedby ADB – is helping change that.