The Nakdong river basin, which supplies drinking water to the Busan Metropolitan City, the second largest city in the Republic of Korea, became heavily polluted from the growth of an upstream textile industry. Research revealed that downstream water treatment costs exceded upstream water protection costs, prompting authorities to focus on protecting and treating wastewater at source.
The Songhua River Basin is the third largest river basin in the People’s Republic of China. Almost the entire northeast of the country lies within this basin. The Songhua is also one of the China’s four most polluted rivers, suffering until recently from untreated urban wastewater, industrial wastewater and agricultural non-point sources.
The Onon River, which flows through Mongolian territory into the Amur through the Shilka River, is an important catchment area forming the headwaters of the Amur/Heilong River - the longest undammed river in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Laguna Lake, the fourth-largest lake in Southeast Asia, lies in the provinces of Rizal and Laguna. Increased development within the basin has caused water quality to decline steeply.
The Bengawan Solo basin is the largest on the island of Java. Administratively it is shared by two provinces, Central and East Java, and is jointly managed by Jasa Tirta Public Corporation I (PJT I) and Balai Besar Wilayah Sungai Bengawan Solo (BBWS-BS).
The Brantas basin in East Java supplies water to about 16 million users, but suffers from poor water quality due to rapid population growth and industrialization.
The Yoshino River flows through Shikoku Island in southeastern Japan. The Yoshino River Basin Management Plan of 1966 was one of the first such efforts in Asia and the Pacific region. It was formulated through consultations held with local stakeholders, including riparian residents in Tokushima on the east of Shikoku Island, upstream residents of Kochi on its southern coast, and transboundary water users in Ehime and Kagawa on its northern side.
Plans to build a dam on the Yom River of Thailand have caused disputes between water users and communities living in the basin. In 2008, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand, with support from the Asian Development Bank, launched a collaborative integrated water resources management initiative that focused on participatory processes for the management of the Yom River Basin.
The Yarra basin lies in a drought-prone region of the southern state of Victoria. The state capital Melbourne is positioned at the estuary of the Yarra River, from which it obtains 70% of its water needs.
The 4Ps River basin consists of four sub-basins of the Mekong River — the Prek Preah, Prek Krieng, Prek Kampi and Prek Te. Located in eastern Cambodia, the basin is still mostly covered by forests. About 1% of the area is cultivated, and a quarter of this is irrigated. Poverty is still widespread and local people are vulnerable to floods and drought.
Chao Lake, the fifth largest in the People’s Republic of China, struggled to overcome one of the most serious eutrophication problems in the country caused by decades of pollution spurred by economic growth pressures.
The Red River Basin is a transboundary river basin spanning parts of the People’s Republic of China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam. In Viet Nam, the basin encompasses 26 provinces including the capital city, Ha Noi, with a combined population of about 28 million people.
The Davao basin covers eight sub-basins and is the main source of water for Davao City in southern Philippines. The basin supports a rich range of resources and land uses, including urban areas, agricultural land, wetlands, mangroves, tree plantations and natural upland forests. It is also a major source of raw materials for food, medicine and cosmetics, and plays a crucial role in the economy of the country as a whole.
The Yellow River – the second-longest river in the People’s Republic of China and one of the ten longest rivers in the world – plays an important role in the national economy.
The lower part of the Dong Nai River supplies water to Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces and feeds a hydropower plant in the Tri An reservoir, but has been polluted by wastewater runoff from agriculture, aquaculture, industry and built-up areas (Ha et al. 2008).
The Lower Kinabatangan region is rich in biodiversity, with waterlogged and dry forests, saline and freshwater swamps, and limestone forests. It has around 1,000 plant species and 50 mammal species, including primates, many endemic to the region.
By the second half of the 20th century, rapid industrialization and urbanization had severely degraded water quality in the Kallang Basin. The Kallang River was devoid of aquatic life and considered ecologically dead.
The basin of the Gagas River, a fragile spring-fed river in northern India, has seen major changes over the past few decades. Dwindling tree cover has led to a marked reduction in water flows. River fish no longer form part of the local diet, and agricultural production has declined.
Lying in northeast Bangladesh, the Tanguar Haor wetland forms part of the wetland and floodplain complex of the Surma and Kushiyara river basins. About half of Tanguar Haor’s area comprises waterbodies and almost a third cropland. The wetland provides habitats for many different species of waterbirds and fish.
The Chu and Talas rivers, shared by Kazakhstan and The Kyrgyz Republic, support a combined population of more than 1.6 million, and are crucial sources of water for agriculture, aquaculture, power generation, industry and domestic consumption in both countries.
The Mahaweli River Basin covers 10,000 km2, one-sixth of Sri Lanka’s land area. The river supplies water for irrigation and hydropower generation, as well as meeting the water demands of urban and industrial areas in the basin.