First ASEAN-MRC Water Security Dialogue: policy, technology, and partnerships are solutions 


That is the statement of the first Water Security Dialogue between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Mekong River Commission (MRC), hold on 19 – 20 August 2021. 

Regarding policy, it calls for the promotion of more transparency and engagement to increase sustainable management of water and related resource across Southeast Asia. The focus should be integrated water resources management. Closer regional and local integration, particularly in water resource planning, pollution management, early forecasting and warning, and awareness-raising, is also recommended.

Regarding technology, digitalization and advanced modeling tools play an important role in managing regional water resource databases. Subsequently, these technologies can local expertise to handle water-related risks, e.g., floods and droughts and improve the availability of reservoir water. 

Regarding the partnership aspect, promoting the participation of various institutions and greater use of public-private partnerships is suggested. Specifically, extensively collaborating with the private sector can support governments in accessing new technologies. Furthermore, deeper regional cooperation can ease the mutual exchange of expertise in integrated water resources management and promote sustainable investments. Especially, regional cooperation is needed to solve emerging water-related problems in the region, e.g., equitable access to safe and affordable water supply, sufficient water to ensure food security.

The second ASEAN-MRC Water Security Dialogue will be organized in 2023. The Dialogue was established within the cooperation framework between ASEAN and MRC signed in 2018. 

Sources & further information: “ASEAN, Mekong River Commission produce water security solutions” at and “ASEAN, Mekong River Commission to Convene Inaugural Water Security Dialogue” at, accessed on 25 August 2021.