「世界水資源週」（World Water Week）是個全球性的會議場合，旨在建立能力與合作關係，且伴隨著國際水資源與發展專案的實施。
Many Asian countries face huge financial costs to clean up the environment because of a lack of investment in sanitation. This is leading to massive pollution of both surface water and groundwater, senior officials of the Asian Development Bank said today ahead of a global clean water conference.
Some two billion Asians – roughly 66 percent of the population in Asia – lack access to adequate sanitation, such as toilets, pit latrines, septic tanks, and sewerage systems. This accounts for nearly three-quarters of all those in the world without such facilities.
"Failure to act on sanitation and wastewater eventually comes home to roost when the problem results in a smelly, foul, turgid river that despoils a city and surrounding areas," said Amy Leung, principal urban development specialist with the Asian Development Bank, ADB.
"But the real horror is the outbreak of typhoid and cholera caused by inadequate sanitation," she said.
Leung says the bank has about $1.6 billion in the pipeline for investments in sanitation between now and 2010 and is looking for ways to double or triple that figure.
World Water Week is the global meeting place for capacity and partnership building and following up on the implementation of international water and development programs.
The financial cost of cleaning a river once it is already polluted with industrial waste or sewage is far higher than the cost of building the infrastructure needed to dispose of the pollutants properly, bank officials say.
In Shanghai, for example, Chinese authorities had to spend $1 billion to clean Suzhou Creek, which runs through the metropolis and used to be a health risk to residents. Officials acknowledge cleanup costs were many times what would have been needed to prevent the pollution in the first place.
China last year announced plans to invest $125 billion in sanitation and wastewater treatment, a major step forward but still not enough to meet its people's needs, say bank officials.
This indicates the magnitude of investment needed in Asia for sanitation and wastewater infrastructure between now and 2015, the target date for accomplishing the UN's Millenium Development Goals.