Articles | Volume 364
16 Sep 2014
 | 16 Sep 2014

Groundwater governance in Asia: present state and barriers to implementation of good governance

T. Tanaka

Keywords: Groundwater governance, Asia, groundwater hazard, regulation, countermeasures, overlapping responsibility, conceptual law, one coordinate function, Water Cycle Basic Law

Abstract. The present state of groundwater governance in Asia was reviewed. The main problem regarding groundwater resources in each Asian country is overexploitation, causing water level decline, land subsidence and salt water intrusion. For those groundwater hazards, many countries have established regulations such as laws and regulations as countermeasures. However, those laws and regulations are not the basic laws on groundwater resources, but only for countermeasures to prevent groundwater hazards. Common problems and barriers for implementing groundwater governance in Asian countries are that there is more than one institute with different and sometimes overlapping responsibilities in groundwater management. To overcome those conflicts among institutions and establishment of good governance, it is necessary to establish an agency in the government as one coordinate function reinforcing the direct coordination and facilitation of groundwater policy-making and management. As one such framework, the conceptual law called the Water Cycle Basic Law, which is under planning in Japan, is examined in this paper.