The Business of Saving the Angat

Pacific Prospective features the research of graduate students.

Memo #299

By Sarah Thomas – sarah.thomas [at]

Over 99 percent of all businesses in the Philippines are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and they represent seventy percent of the country’s labour force. With such numbers, while the environmental impact of small and medium enterprises is not… Continue reading

A Canal Runs through It: Seoul’s Ara Waterway at Two

Memo #293

By Daniel Kane – danielkane [at]

The Han is the river of the South Korean capital of Seoul, and for most of that city’s history it served as highway to the Yellow Sea, some twenty kilometers to the west. To be sure, it still does, but since 1953 and the Korean War armistice a significant chunk… Continue reading

Thirsty Cities, Dying Rivers, Uncertain Futures: A Tale Too Often Told

Pacific Prospective features the research of graduate students.

Memo #286

By Brett Dimond – brett.dimond [at]

A central principle for the good governance of common-pool resources is to match allocation and provision rules. In other words, those who appropriate a resource must do so in a way that is viewed by those involved as… Continue reading

Local Voices in Water Resources Management: A Case Study in Negotiated Approach from Bangladesh

Memo #265

By Mustafa Alam – mstfalam [at]

A case study from Bangladesh highlights the success of a negotiated approach to water resources management, wherein the participation of the local populace in the planning and decision-making process is ensured, local knowledge is used and local stakeholders empowered.

In the Khulna and Jessore districts of coastal… Continue reading

Managing South Asia’s Himalayan Rivers: A Human Development Framework

Memo #164 – What would an ideal regulatory system to manage an international river look like? Some have called for an innovatively designed regulatory authority for international rivers, such as the Ganga-Brahmaputra river system in the Himalayan region. Existing models are not compatible with the geopolitical conditions in South Asia. Rather than furthering traditional nationalist approaches, the new design must take into account the people living in the region. Continue reading

Water, Scarcity, and Tibetan Plateau Frontiers

Memo #142

Theme Editors: Tashi Tsering and Jack Hayes

Freshwater (in)security is quickly rising as a critical global challenge. Today, March 22, is World Water Day. The focus is freshwater and measures for conservation and management.

Last fall, Asia Pacific Memo published four Memos as part of its Theme, “Water, Scarcity, and Tibetan Plateau Frontiers.”

Freshwater security is a global… Continue reading

Will “Nepal Investment Year” Solve its Hydropower Puzzle?

Memo #139 – By some estimates Nepal has the potential to generate 42,000 megawatts (MW) of hydroelectricity per annum. In an effort to attract capital, Nepal’s Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai proclaimed 2012 as “Nepal Investment Year.” The aim is to attract over $6 billion (USD) for key sectors including hydropower. Bhattarai also signed a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) with India. Continue reading

The Disappearing Rivers of India

Memo #120 – The vital rivers of the state of Uttarakhand in northwestern India may soon disappear. A multitude of feeder streams and tributaries that run through the state carve tight passages through steep mountains before joining the sacred river Ganga (Ganges). Ancient and contemporary Hindu traditions are steeped in worship of these tributary rivers, and their sacred confluences are named “prayags”. But Uttarakhand is part of a frantic push across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and China to harness the rivers of the Himalayas for hydroelectric power.[1] This movement threatens to alter entire river systems in an unprecedented way. Continue reading

Polluted Water Challenges China’s Engineering Efforts

Memo #114 – Water is central to China’s environmental challenges. While not water-short overall, the geographic and temporal variations in China’s precipitation are extreme. Some areas suffer from dangerously lower per capita fresh water availability. Water conservation innovation does happen, but shortages usually elicit familiar engineering responses such as dams and diversions. Most notable is the South-North Water Transfer Project (SNWTP), which aims to take nearly 45 cubic kilometres (45 billion cubic metres) of water annually from the water rich Yangtze River basin to water scarce regions around the Yellow River basin in the north. The diversion would essentially replace the Yellow River’s total annual runoff of 30 billion cubic metres. Continue reading