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Draft, Nov 28, 2008

Opening Remarks by Japan Water Agency


9:15-9:30 December 1, 2008

[Compliment] Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, all distinguished participants. Im Juichi Kamimura, Director General of Water Resources Engineering Department, Japan Water Agency. First of all, I would like to celebrate holding this important event led by Regional Water Knowledge Hubs initiated by Asia Pacific Water Forum. I would like to express my warmest thanks to all of you, especially the host organization, National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia. Its a great honor for me to have a chance to make an opening address of the Regional Workshop on Developing Partnerships for Water and Climate Change Adaptation on behalf of Japan Water Agency and NARBO Secretariat. [Japan Water Agency] Japan Water Agency was transferred from Water Resources Development Public Corporation in October 2003. Water Resources Development Public Corporation, the predecessor of Japan Water Agency, was established in 1962 to supply raw water for domestic, industrial and agricultural use to improve the social and economic situation in Japan. It has produced numerous achievements by means of construction of multi-purpose dams and canals, development of lakes, operation and management of the completed facilities in Japan. Water Resources Development Public Corporation was governmental organization, but the current Japan Water Agency increases its independence than before. As a result, we have set up Water Resources Engineering Department in 2005 and put together our technical expertise which we have built for more than 40 years. Through this new department, we have provided our technical expertise actively with not only national sectors but also international ones.

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[NARBO] At the 3rd World Water Forum in March 2003 in Kyoto, Japan, Asian Development Bank(ADB), Asian Development Bank Institute(ADBI) , and Water Resources Development Public Corporation of Japan (at that time) recognized the need for networking and capacity building in the implementation of IWRM and decided to collaborate in launching a Network of Asian River Basin Organizations (NARBO). NARBO was formally established in February 2004 and the headquarters of the Secretariat is in Japan Water Agency. Japan Water Agency has played an active role in implementing NARBO activities such as thematic workshop, IWRM training, etc. in cooperation with ADB and ADBI. Now, its Chairperson is Dr. Amron from First Advisor to Minister of Public Works, Indonesia and its Vice-Chairperson is Mr. Ivan de Silva from Mahaveli Authority of Sri Lanka. [IWRM] IWRM, namely integrated water resources management, has been recognized as an effective method to develop and manage water resources and an effective process to challenge issues on water and sanitation, but most countries are still considerable challengers in implementing IWRM as shown at 16th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development in United Nations. The situation in implementing IWRM varies from country to country at present. Some differences between developed and developing countries, and differences in climate conditions have caused this situation. For example, these pictures show scenes in Mongolia, which I visited last month. The climate in this country is much different from the one here in Malaysia. The purpose of our activities is to make the world peace and improve the peoples living on this planet earth intending sustainability considering the descendant of us. Meanwhile, we should recognize our circumstances are always changing. These changes might have social, economical or natural aspects. Implementation style of IWRM varies from past to future as well as from place to place according to the needs at the time such as urbanization, industrialization, etc., but I believe a basic concept of IWRM is almost common 2

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in the world. Therefore, it is very important to disseminate our experiences in Japan as one of the advanced cases and exchange the experiences in different countries. [Climate Change] Meanwhile, global climate change has influenced IWRM in recent years. In the future, it is assumed that sea level will rise due to increase of ice melting in glacial areas and Antarctica, and due to expansion of sea water itself; and typhoon intensity, fluctuation of annual precipitation and occurrence frequency of flood and drought will increase due to increased evapotranspiration; and a term and volume of snow melting will decrease due to decrease of snow accumulation. We all can recognize that these phenomena will obviously make a serious impact on water resources management including flood disaster and drought management, and recently we have already experienced similar cases. For example, in 2005, one of the dam reservoirs managed by Japan Water Agency was dried up due to a heavy drought and thus the water use in the area was seriously damaged, but a huge typhoon suddenly hit the area and got the reservoir filled with water in one day due to a heavy rainfall. In another example, mountainous area in Japan has much snowfall in winter and the melted water in spring is very important for irrigation and domestic water use, but it seems that fluctuation of snowfall has become large recently. This topic will be presented tomorrow afternoon. These cases have made our water resources management more complicated and we have considered the way how we can adapt the change. We need to share information on these phenomena and take both structural and non-structural measures to adapt this climate change. Especially, the field of meteorology is significant to prospect future, to monitor the tendency of the change, and to improve the accuracy of weather forecasting as one of the non-structural measures. In that sense, I expect future activities by National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia as a Regional Water knowledge Hub on Climate Change in Southeast Asia.

Draft, Nov 28, 2008

[Closing] Ladies and gentlemen, I believe this Regional Workshop will be useful to deepen our understanding of climate change adaptation and make the partnership stronger among the participants in Asia Pacific region, especially on climate change adaptation. At the same time, I really hope that this Workshop will lead to Thematic Workshops conducted by NARBO next year. Finally, I extend best wishes for the success of this Regional Workshop. Thank you for your kind attention.

Juichi KAMIMURA (Mr.) Director General Water Resources Engineering Department Japan Water Agency

The views expressed in this paper/presentation are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), or its Board of Governors, or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this paper and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use. Terminology used may not necessarily be consistent with ADB official terms.