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Water Quality: Assessment of the Current Situation in Asia

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Pages 195-216
Published online: 26 Apr 2012

The uncontrolled release of sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural run-off continue to affect Asia. Although many Asian countries are getting closer to meeting the improved sanitation targets, much of the waste remains untreated. Comprehensive databases are rarely available and national data indicate that the water quality situation is serious. However, there are many signs of hope. Water quality monitoring efforts are improving and several countries now have systems in place that could guide other nations in the region. The efforts of basin agencies, such as the Mekong River Commission, could lead the way to transboundary or even regional assessments. Many regulatory and economic options are being tested for pollution control, but institutional and social challenges remain, in particular those related to population growth and the various ways in which it is affecting water quality across the region.


1. The definition given by the FAO is the quantity of water that has been polluted by adding waste. The origin can be domestic or industrial wastewater routed to the wastewater treatment plant. It does not include agricultural drainage water.

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