Abstract of the International Symposium (Friday, August 1, 2008)

Picture Symposium2008

  • Date
  • Friday, August 1, 2008
  • Location:
  • Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center(1 Yumebutai, Awaji-shi, Hyogo)
  • Theme:
  • "Water resource in Asia: What lies in the future?"
  • Details
  • (1)Opening Address(13:00)
    • Satoshi Iue
    • Representative Director, Asia Pacific Forum, Awaji Conference Japan
  • (2)Welcome Tribute
    • Toshizo Ido
    • Governor of Hyogo Prefecture
  • (3)Commemorative Lecture(13:30)
    • Shuichi Ikebuchi
    • Emeritus Professor, Kyoto University/Former Director General, Water Resource Research Center, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University
    • "Water Resources in Japan and Asia: Current State and Projects"
  • (4)Break(14:30)
  • (5)Presentation of the current situation in Asian regions(14:45)
    • Singapore
    • Liong, Shie-Yui
    • Associate Director and Principal Research Fellow, Tropical Marine Science Institute, National University of Singapore
    • "Water Resources and Climate Change Impacts Study"
    • China
    • Gang Hong
    • Deputy Director and Water Resources Engineer, Department of Water Resources, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research
    • "Strategy Actions of Water Resources Development in Northern China and Relevant Issues"
    • Mekong River
    • Takao Masumoto
    • Team Leader, Research Team for Global Warming and Head, Laboratory of Hydrology and Water Resources, National Institute for Rural Engineering, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO)
    • "Status report and international utilization of water resources in the Mekong River"
    • Eiichi Nakakita(Coordinator)
    • Professor, Research Section of Hydrometeorological Disasters Division of Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Disasters, Disaster Prevention Research Institute,Kyoto University
  • Closing(14:30)

After opening address by Mr. Satoshi Iue, Representative Director of the Awaji Conference, and words of welcome by Mr. Toshizo Ido, governor of Hyogo Prefecture, there was a commemorative lecture by Mr. Shuichi Ikebuchi, Emeritus Professor of Kyoto University, former Director General of Disaster Prevention Research Institute and former Director of the Water Resource Research Center Kyoto University, under the theme "Water Resources in Japan and Asia: Current State and Projects."

In the commemorative lecture, Mr. Ikebuchi pointed out that the world’s population has grown threefold in the past 100 years and water use is now six times what it was a century ago. "In the Asia Pacific region in particular," he said, "The growth of the population and the accompanying rise in lifestyle and economic development have resulted in the use of larger quantities of water, a trend of which is expected to continue in the future. The various nations and regions in Asia are at the point where they are going beyond merely diverting the natural flow of rivers to secure their water supply. Rather, they are at the stage of practicing water conservation and other means which correspond to their technological level." In addition to describing the present situation in Asia in regard to water resources, Mr. Ikebuchi spoke of how the globalization of the economy has given rise to the concept of virtual water: "This concept, where the import and export of agricultural produce and livestock products is construed as trading in virtual water, presents the alternative of deciding not to develop water resources. The utilization of agricultural produce as bioenergy provides a context in which to review the interrelationship of water, food, and energy, including the competition among the various uses of water: urban, industrial, and agricultural." In closing, Mr. Ikebuchi concluded that a comprehensive program of water resource management was needed, which includes the development, distribution, and utilization of water and water resources as well as the preservation of water quality and the conservation of the aquatic environment.

After the lecture, presentations were given by experts from Singapore, China, and the Mekong River basin on the current situation in regard to water resources. The session was coordinated by Mr. Eiichi Nakakita, Professor of the Division of Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Disasters at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute Kyoto University and was followed by a question and answer period.

First, Mr. Shie-Yui Liong, Associate Director and Principal Research Fellow at the Tropical Marine Science Institute of the National University of Singapore described the current situation in Singapore in a presentation titled "Water Resources and Climate Change Impacts Study."

Mr. Liong gave a general outline of the Marina Bay Project, which collects and utilizes rainwater, and of the desalination plant. "Singapore receives water from Malaysia," he said, "And our being a nation of high water stress makes us work even more to pour maximum efforts into self-sufficiency in water. And like other nations, we are also very concerned about the impact of climate changes on our island nation."

The presentation was followed by a status report on China by Mr. Gang Hong, Deputy Director and Water Resources Engineer of the Department of Water Resources at the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, titled "Strategy Actions of Water Resources Development in Northern China and Relevant Issues."

Mr. Gang pointed out that China had three problems in addition to flooding: water shortage, water pollution, and degradation of the ecosystem. He described how efforts such as the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, in which the water from the Yangtze River is diverted to the northern regions, are part of a wide-ranging program of water management which starts from creating a social system in which people are interested in how water is utilized.

Finally, Mr. Takao Masumoto, Team Leader of the Research Team for Global Warming and Head of the Laboratory of Hydrology and Water Resources, National Institute for Rural Engineering, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, gave a presentation of the current situation of the Mekong River titled "Status Report and International Utilization of Water Resources in the Mekong River."

Mr. Masumoto stated how rice farming has been the mode of agriculture which has a long history and sustainability in Monsoon Asia, and how agriculture has been intimately connected with the flooding of the Mekong River. He also touched upon the difficulties of coordinating the Mekong River nations, given the nature of the Mekong River as an international river, and brought up the issue of power balance in international water use.

The sessions were attended by the Chargés d’affaires ad interim from the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti in Japan, the representative of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Japan, and approximately 250 participants from 7 nations.

Back to Top