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Why #OneSouthAsia?


Three major rivers flow from the Himalayan mountains, providing crucial water for people and crops in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. 

Shared management of the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river basins can increase fair and inclusive development and climate change resilience throughout the region. Collaboration is also important for the environmentally fragile Sundarbans, a vast wetlands straddling the border of Bangladesh and India.


The World Bank and its partners, including through the South Asia Water Initiative (SAWI), provide funding and analyses to promote regional collaboration in managing transboundary rivers and groundwater. Some activities are listed below.



BLOG: Helping South Asia Navigate Shared Waters



Tangled Seas: A Snapshot of Abandoned, Lost, or Otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear in South Asia

Plastic Waste : A Journey Down the Indus River Basin in Pakistan

The Restless River : Yarlung Tsangpo-Siang-Brahmaputra-Jamuna

Plastic-free Rivers and Seas for South Asia

Atal Bujal Yojana National Groundwater Management Improvement Project (India)

Bangladesh Regional Climate Services Project

Bangladesh Sustainable Coastal and Marine Fisheries Project

Bhutan Hydromet Services and Disaster Resilience Regional Project

Coastal Embankment Improvement Project (Bangladesh)

Innovation in Floating Solar Power and Hybrid Technologies (India)

Co-location, Socioeconomic Status, and Perceptions of Environmental Change (Sundarban)

Integrated Coastal Zone Management (India)

Inventory of Freshwater Resources in the Sundarban Landscape

Landscape Narrative of the Sundarban: Toward Collaborative Management by Bangladesh and India

Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project (Bangladesh)

Multisector Approaches to Delta Management (Bangladesh)

National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (India)

National Ganga River Basin Project (India)

National Hydrology Project (India)

Nepal Power Sector Reform and Sustainable Hydropower Development

Punjab Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project (India)

Sundarban: A Review of Evolution and Geomorphology

Sundarban in a Global Perspective: Long Term Adaptation and Development

Sustainable Forests and Livelihood Project (Bangladesh)

Regional Capacity Building: Water Governance

Water Sector Capacity Building and Advisory Services (Pakistan)



Blog series:  Water in South Asia

SAWI reports and publications


What's new


What's in the Waste? Plastics Threatening Mighty Indus

August 2023: The World Bank pioneered the study to track the quantity and varieties of plastic waste in the Indus to push for prompt action for the sustainability of the river and its tributaries. Find out more about the findings of the report.
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Climate Roadmap Can Guide South Asia to Greener, Inclusive Future

Oct. 28, 2021 - A new World Bank roadmap aims to help South Asia adapt to hotter temperatures, melting glaciers, and more severe weather. Water and food insecurity are among the region's biggest climate risks.
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Boarding pass for virtual trip

Now Boarding: A Virtual Trip to See SAWI's Work and Impact

August 27, 2021 - We invite you to join a virtual expedition to learn about the South Asia Water Initiative's decade of work with transboundary river basins management, flood forecasting, groundwater conservation, pollution, climate change, and more.
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Bangladesh Moves Ahead in Managing World's Largest River Delta

June 9, 2021 - Bangladesh's ambitious Delta Plan 2100 aims to create jobs, boost trade, and reduce climate risks. The plan will transform the vast delta where the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers meet and flow into the Bay of Bengal.
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From Data to Diesel: Youth Videos Suggest Ways to #BeatPlasticPollution

May 19, 2021 - We asked #OneSouthAsia youth for ideas how the region can work together to fight plastic pollution. Listen to what they said.
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Indian Ocean Protects, Connects South Asia

March 30, 2021 - The Indian Ocean is much more than busy sea lanes linking #OneSouthAsia to world markets. Former Sri Lankan Amb. Prasad Kariyawasam calls for regional cooperation to manage ocean resources and fight pollution for the benefit of all.
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Managing Pakistan's Groundwater

March 25, 2021 - The Indus River irrigates millions of hectares of farmland and hosts a vast reservoir of groundwater key to Pakistan's water and food security. A groundwater database and management plan can help preserve supplies and improve water quality.
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5 Reasons Why South Asia is Uniting to Beat Marine Plastic Pollution

March 22, 2021 - All eight nations of South Asia are working together to rid the region of microplastic pollution in the air we breathe, in glacial ice on Mount Everest, in water we drink and in fish that we eat, with huge costs to the economy and health.
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Managing Coastal Out-migration in Bangladesh

Feb 11, 2021 - Thousands of poor households live along Bangladesh’s low-lying coast, vulnerable to cyclones, tidal inundation, and contaminated drinking water. Studies show that for each 1-meter rise in sea level, 1.5 million coastal residents will be displaced.
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VIDEO Jun 25, 2020

The South Asia Water Initiative

June 29, 2021 - The South Asia Water Initiative focused on improving cross-border management of the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river basins that are home to nearly 1 billion people, and the Sundarbans wetlands shared by Bangladesh and India. SAWI's portfolio also included flooding, drought, pollution, and hydroelectric power.



The Impact of COVID-19 on Plastic Waste Management in South Asia: Challenges and Policy Recommendations

Sept. 30, 2021 - Plastic pollution management shouold be part of economic recovery and disaster preparedness plans throughout South Asia. A World Bank report urges policy makers to offer tax credits or subsidies to help businesses phase out plastic use.
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Glaciers of the Himalayas: Climate Change, Black Carbon, and Regional Resilience

June 3, 2021 - Black carbon, or soot, emissions from brick-making kilns and home cookstoves are speeding glacier melt in the Himalayas. A new report estimates the impact on downstream areas of the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river basins through 2040.
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Groundwater in Pakistan’s Indus Basin: Present and Future Prospects

March 25, 2021 - Pakistan is on the brink of a severe groundwater crisis. To respond to climate change and a rising population, it needs a management plan to reliably measure Indus Basin groundwater and improve water quality.
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SAWI annual report for FY20

Feb 4, 2021 - The South Asia Water Initiative helps identify opportunities and shared benefits from transboundary management of the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra rivers. Among the benefits: hydropower, inland water transport, and flood forecasts.
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Coping with Climate Change in the Sundarbans: Lessons from Multidisciplinary Studies

Nov 12, 2020 - The Sundarbans is on the front line of climate change, battered by rising seas, intense flooding, and groundwater salinization. Research into impacts on residents' health and livelihoods can help other areas cope with similar changes in the future.
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Grow Solar, Save Water, Double Farm Income

Feb. 12, 2020 - Advancements in solar and communication technologies offer new possibilities to realign the incentives and interests of India's farmers, power utilities, and the government.
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Managing Groundwater for Drought Resilience in South Asia

Jan 1, 2020 - Groundwater data and management is important as South Asia undergoes climate and socioeconomic changes. This report recommends water governance improvements with regional cooperation to monitor groundwater resources and prevent contamination.
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