Brahmaputra Focus Area

Improving shared understanding and management of the Brahmaputra River basin as a means to strengthen resilience and support economic growth for the riparian countries
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Ganges Focus Area

Improving the shared understanding, management and development of the Ganges River Basin in order to support economic growth for the riparian countries and to support resilience to existing variability and climate change
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Indus Focus Area

Strengthening water resources management and coordination among riparian countries to improve water and energy security
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Regional Cooperation

Building knowledge and capacity across the region in support of transboundary basin-focused dialog and cooperation
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Regional Cooperation

Sundarbans Focus Area

Operationalizing joint management of the Sundarbans for sustainable development and to deliver mutual benefits for the two countries
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Established in 2009, the South Asia Water Initiative (SAWI) is a multi-donor partnership between the World Bank and the governments of United Kingdom, Australia and Norway. The overarching objective of SAWI is to: increase regional cooperation in the management of the major Himalayan river systems in South Asia to deliver sustainable, fair and inclusive development and climate resilience. SAWI supports activities related to the management of the Greater Himalayas transboundary water systems in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.


South Asia is home to about a quarter of the global population, but has less than 5 per cent of the world’s annual renewable water resources. Low per capita water availability, coupled with a very high relative level of water use (dominated by irrigation), makes South Asia one of the most water scarce regions of the world, and a region where scarcity impacts on economic development (Figure 1).

South Asia Water Initiative Report for the funding period of 2009-2013 summarizes the impacts and lessons from SAWI activities during this period.

In a bid to foster regional cooperation around managing water resources, government officials and academics from four South Asian countries that share the waters of the Indus (Afghanistan, China, India and Pakistan) undertook a joint study tour to Ecuador this January