Myanmar

Balancing economic development in the face of escalating water challenges

Myanmar has an abundance of surface and groundwater resources, and yet despite the potential development of hydropower, agriculture and navigation, its economy remains one of the least developed in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is highly vulnerable to water-related disasters and declining water quality is an emerging issue due to urban waste, and untreated sanitation and industrial pollution.

About 66 percent of Myanmar’s population lives in the Ayeyarwady River Basin or approximately 35 million people. The transboundary river is about 2,170 km long, and its basin covers 413,710 km² of which 91 percent lies within Myanmar, 5 percent in China, and 4 percent in India. The Ayeyarwady Delta is also home to the critically endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin.

The Government of Myanmar’s Ministry of Transport (superseded by the Ministry of Transport and Communications) and National Water Resources Committee signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2015. The purpose of the MoU is to facilitate long-term cooperation between the two countries in the field of Integrated Water Resource Management specifically to ensure the development of Myanmar’s river basins is managed for the sustainable benefit of all people.

AWP’s ongoing commitment to supporting Myanmar’s water journey

The Australian Water Partnership (AWP) sees its relationship with Myanmar as mutually beneficial and seeks to continue to support activities that will lead to transformational changes in how water resources are managed across various government levels in Myanmar. AWP also looks to continue to engage in activities that are aligned with Australian niche water expertise and the Australian water reform journey, as well as activities that provide a pathway for broader engagement and strengthen ongoing relationships.

  AWP-Myanmar Investment Strategy

AWP-Myanmar collaboration and support

From 2015–2018, AWP funded 21 activities in Myanmar. More than 20 Australian Partners have been involved in the Ayeyarwady Integrated River Basin Management Project, with four main areas of support: Ayeyarwady–Murray-Darling twinning relationship; Myanmar Young Water Professionals Program; Ayeyarwady State of the Basin Assessment Review and Synthesis; the Ayeyarwady Basin Exploratory Scoping Study; and the Groundwater Review of the Central Dry Zone.

Myanmar Portfolio

Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board

Projects & Activities Shaun Cox from Inxure Strategy Group represented the Australian Water Partnership (AWP) in Chennai in meetings involving the World Bank and the Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB).  The purpose of the visit was to: continue to grow relationships with the World Bank and the CMWSSB; and assist in progressing […]

Training in Haryana Irrigation Region

Projects & Activities In February 2016 three Australians from International Agriculture for Development went to Northern India with the support of the AWP and The Crawford Fund. Here and in neighboring countries, which host some 30% of the World’s population, declining ground water reserves (at a rate of up to 10 cm per year) and […]

National groundwater meeting to scope a National Reform Agenda, India

Projects & Activities This forum was convened so stakeholders from various parts of the water sector could get a shared understanding of the situation for groundwater in India and formulate the first steps to managing various emerging challenges. The forum was attended by 52 people including senior policy makers and resource managers. Topics of discussion […]

Ayeyarwady Integrated River Basin Management

Improving river basin planning and technical capacity in Myanmar as part of the Ayeyarwady Integrated River Basin Management Project, a five-year US$100M World Bank initiative.

Ayeyarwady–Murray-Darling Basin Twinning

A twinning relationship between government departments from Myanmar and Australia to improve river basin planning with an emphasis on peer-to-peer mentoring of staff.

State of the Basin Assessment Review and Synthesis

Laying the foundation for developing an Ayeyarwady Integrated River Basin Management Plan to guide policy and planning decision-making.

Myanmar Young Water Professional Program

A joint Australia–Netherlands program to support the Myanmar Government in training and mentoring the next generation of water leaders.

Hydrological Data Audit

A comprehensive review of hydrometric and meteorological data to help inform evidence-based decision-making in the Ayeyarwady Basin.

Surface Water Resource Assessment

A comprehensive basin-scale assessment of water resources and water use of the Ayeyarwady River Basin.

Basin Water Pollution Survey

A baseline analysis of water pollution in the Ayeyarwady Basin as an input into the State of the Basin Assessment process.

Basin Ecosystem Services Evaluation

Valuing ecosystem services in the Ayeyarwady Basin to quantify and understand its natural capital, and improve economic productivity.

Basin Exploratory Scoping Study

A rapid exploration of development and conservation pathways to inform an Ayeyarwady Basin Master Planning process.

Groundwater Review of the Central Dry Zone

A major 30-year study providing detailed analysis and mapping of groundwater resources for Myanmar’s Central Dry Zone.

C-14 Groundwater Analysis

Radiocarbon dating of major regional groundwater systems as part of the Groundwater Review for the Central Dry Zone, Myanmar.

Eco-Hydrology Assessment

An ecohydrological assessment of the Ayeyarwady River Basin as an input into the State of the Basin Assessment process.

Promoting water stewardship in Industrial Parks in China

The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) has been working with industries across China to support them to adopt water stewardship.

WaterGuide: a framework for managing water scarcity

The WaterGuide is a guide to achieving more sustainable, equitable and efficient water management in a water scarce context.

Establishing a scientific evidence base for planning in the Ayeyarwady Basin, Myanmar

Australia’s continued support for the Ayeyarwady River Decision Support System (DSS) and Basin Master Plan (BMP) builds upon the Ayeyarwady State of the Basin Assessment (SOBA).

Australia-Vietnam Water Utility Improvement Program

Water utility twinning between Vietnamese and Australian water utilities striving towards excellence in the water utility sector.

Mekong River Commission (MRC) Support

In 2018-19, the Australian Water Partnership provided support for the Mekong River Commission (MRC) to guide equitable and sustainable development of hydropower in the Mekong River Basin.

World Bank – MRC Regional Workshop

The AWP supported a Mekong River Commission (MRC) regional workshop in partnership with the World Bank as a part of it’s broader program to support the MRC.

MRC Hydro Capacity Building Initiative

MRC Hydro Capacity Building Initiative is a sub-project of the AWP’s Mekong River Commission (MRC) Support to guide equitable and sustainable development of hydropower in the Mekong River Basin.

MRC Water Policy Advisor

The MRC Water Policy Advisor is a sub-project of the AWP’s Mekong River Commission (MRC) Support to guide equitable and sustainable development of hydropower in the Mekong River Basin.

Support for MRC Summit

In April 2018, Australian Partners were supported to attend the third Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit in Cambodia.

Sustainable Hydropower Expert

The sustainable hydropower expert mentored the MRC’s in-house sustainable hydropower specialist and provided broader policy and strategic advice to the Planning Division.

Australia-Mekong Water Facility

The Australia-Mekong Water Facility is an investment offering a direct government-to-government line of engagement between Australia and countries in the Mekong region.

Mekong Delta Integrated Climate Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods

Mekong Delta Integrated Climate Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods (ICRSL) is a part of the 2019-2023 Australia-Mekong Water Facility Program.

Supporting the Laos Dam Safety review

The Dam Safety review Activity is a part of the 2019-2023 Australia-Mekong Water Facility Program.

Water Ordering Cooperation

Water Ordering Cooperation Activity is a part of the 2019-2023 Australia-Mekong Water Facility Program.

Water Data Management – Office of National Water Resources

The Activity Water Data Management – Office of National Water Resources is a part of the 2019-2023 Australia-Mekong Water Facility Program.

Transitory Mekong Support

Transitory Mekong Support was delivered through a number of Activities in 2018-19.

Myanmar State of the Basin Assessment (SOBA) dissemination

Transitory Mekong Support was delivered through a number of Activities, including Myanmar State of the Basin Assessment (SOBA) dissemination, in 2018-19.

Laos ecohydrology assessment

Transitory Mekong Support was delivered through a number of activities, including Laos ecohydrology assessment, in 2018-19.

Rapid surface water resources assessment for Lao PDR

Transitory Mekong Support was delivered through a number of activities, including Rapid initial assessment of the state of water resources in Lao PDR, in 2018-19.

Mekong Water Data Initiative

Transitory Mekong Support was delivered through a number of activities, including Mekong Water Data Initiative, in 2018-19.

Mekong Delta Forum

The AWP supported the Mekong River Commission through its activity Mekong Delta Forum.

Mekong River Commission (MRC) Water Policy Advice World Bank

The AWP supported the Mekong River Commission through its activity Mekong River Commission (MRC) Water Policy Advice World Bank.

Mekong River Commission socio-economic modelling

This activity is providing the MRC with a socio-economic model to assess the impact of pending development strategies on poverty, land use, livelihoods, and migration.

Cooperation with Iraqi Water Resources Ministry

Cooperation with Iraqi Water Resources Ministry activity, which took place in 2018, is a part of the AWP India Program.

Maharashtra-NSW State Water Management Workshop

Maharashtra-NSW State Water Management Workshop, an activity conducted in 2017, is a part of the National Hydrology Project (NHP) III.

Global Leadership Program on the Circular Economy

Global Leadership Program on the Circular Economy activity allows for experiential learning of the circular economy for 20 Indian Experts.

Gujarat Groundwater Systems Trial

Underpinning AWP’s national-level support to NWIC, this activity will work at the state scale to trial a groundwater data management system in the Indian State of Gujarat.

Technical visit by Dam Rehabilitation Improvement Project (DRIP)

The technical visit activity introduced dam management practices in Australia that may inform or be adopted in the Indian Dam Rehabilitation Improvement Program.

Scaling out of Managing Aquifer Recharge and Sustaining Groundwater Use (MARVI)

The Outscaling of Managing Aquifer Recharge and Sustaining Groundwater Use (MARVI) activity continues from the original MARVI project to ensure its wider adoption and prepare it for scaling out.

National Groundwater Meeting

The National Groundwater Meeting activity took place in 2017-2018.

Andhra Pradesh Water Sensitive Cities

The Andhra Pradesh Water Sensitive Cities activity identifies how water sensitive city principles can be incorporated into the existing city of Vijayawada and new city Amaravati.

National Hydrology Project (NHP) III

In India, AWP continues to support the third phase of the National Hydrology Project (NHP III) funded by the Indian Government and the World Bank.

NHP River Basin Planning & Institutional Strengthening Stage 1

NHP River Basin Planning & Institutional Strengthening Stage 1, an activity conducted in 2016-2018, is a part of the National Hydrology Project (NHP) III.

River Basin Planning & Institutional Strengthening Phase II

River Basin Planning & Institutional Strengthening Phase II, an activity conducted in 2018-2019, is a part of the National Hydrology Project (NHP) III.

Capacity Building Scoping Mission

Capacity Building Scoping Mission, an activity conducted in 2017-2018, is a part of the National Hydrology Project (NHP) III.

National Water Resources Information Centre Development Support

As a part of this activity, a small team of Australian experts has been assisting an NHP core design team to establish the National Water Information Centre (NWIC).

NHP III Conference

NHP III Conference, an activity conducted in 2018-2019, is a part of the National Hydrology Project (NHP) III.

Water Efficiency Improvement in Drought Affected Provinces

Modernising irrigation systems in five drought-prone provinces in the South Central Coastal and Central Highland regions of Vietnam.

Vietnam Water Charging Manuals

Supporting the development of manuals to implement the water charging regime component of the new Law on Hydraulic Work in Vietnam.

Water resource & hydraulic works planning

Water resource & hydraulic works planning is an activity of the Water Efficiency Improvement in Drought Affected Provinces Project (WEIDAP) in Vietnam.

WEIDAP Water resource planning capacity building – scoping study

WEIDAP Water resource planning capacity building – scoping study is an activity of the Water Efficiency Improvement in Drought Affected Provinces Project (WEIDAP) in Vietnam.

WEIDAP Ground Water Investigation

WEIDAP Ground Water Investigation is an activity of the Water Efficiency Improvement in Drought Affected Provinces Project (WEIDAP) in Vietnam.

WEIDAP Conceptualisation Workshop

WEIDAP Conceptualisation Workshop is an activity of the Water Efficiency Improvement in Drought Affected Provinces Project (WEIDAP) in Vietnam.

Vietnam Water Charging Law Workshop

Vietnam Water Charging Law Workshop is an activity of the Water Efficiency Improvement in Drought Affected Provinces Project (WEIDAP) in Vietnam.

Vietnam Water Law Scoping Mission

Vietnam Water Law Scoping Mission is an activity of the Water Efficiency Improvement in Drought Affected Provinces Project (WEIDAP) in Vietnam.

Vietnam Water Law Pilot Study

Supporting Vietnam in developing a shared methodology to road test the water charging manuals under the new Law on Hydraulic Work.

PWWA CEO and Secretariat funding support

PWWA CEO and Secretariat funding support is a part of the Pacific Water and Wastewater Association (PWWA) Capacity Building Program.

Young Pacific Water Professionals

Young Pacific Water Professionals is a part of the Pacific Water and Wastewater Association (PWWA) Capacity Building Program.

Board Development Training and Strategy Development

Board Development Training and Strategy Development activity is a part of the Pacific Water and Wastewater Association (PWWA) Capacity Building Program.

Pacific Water and Wastewater Association (PWWA) Capacity Building Program

Since May 2016, AWP has been supporting a major capacity development program for the Pacific Water and Wastewater Association (PWWA).

China Water Exchange (CWEX) Study Tour

In May 2018, a high-level delegation from the China Water Exchange (CWEX) visited the southern Murray-Darling Basin to learn about Australia’s water markets.

Sponge City Trade Mission to Kunshan

The Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) led a trade mission of government and industry representatives to the City of Kunshan, Jiangsu Province.

Australia-Indonesia Water Utility Improvement Program

Transferring management expertise, technology, and personnel between three Australian water utilities and three Indonesian water utilities.

Indonesia Water Stewardship Event

Indonesia’s first Water Stewardship Forum from May 8 – 10, 2018 hosted by Alliance for Water Stewardship Asia Pacific was held in Bogor, Indonesia.

Indo-Pacific Water Stewardship Project

This activity, beginning in early 2019 and running through to 2022, is the second phase of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Water Stewardship Program.

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