The Myanmar Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) strategic study is part of the bilateral IWRM cooperation between Burma/Myanmar and the Netherlands.

Royal HaskoningDHV and partners prepared, in a participative manner, building blocks (options and recommendations) for integrated water resources management for development of a national strategy for integral water management in Burma/Myanmar . Key partners were the Expert Group of the National water Resources Committee of Myanmar, primary co-operating ministries: Ministry of Transport (MoT), Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MoAI).

These building blocks will be used by the Burma/Myanmar government to decide on strategies for their water resources in distinguished regions (Coastal Zone, Delta, Central Dry Zone, Mountain) of Myanmar. These strategies will be implemented in the master plan phase in subsequent years.

The Challenge

Since Myanmar has opened up, developments go fast. Looking at present day Myanmar, it can be observed that the country is still to a large extent unspoiled. With its abundance in natural resources, including water, the country has great opportunities.. These natural resources are however geographically and seasonally unevenly distributed. The challenge to achieve a balanced and sustainable development is great.

The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment has offered to support the Government of Myanmar in the development of an Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Strategy for Myanmar and in May 2013 it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Myanmar Ministry of Transport as focal Ministry of the Myanmar National Water Resource Committee (NWRC).

The Solution

Under the umbrella of this cooperation Royal HaskoningDHV (lead) and partners were assigned to assist the NWRC and its Expert group, to further contribute participatively, to the development of a national strategy for integrated water resources management in Myanmar.
The fullest possible use has been made of insights into delta management, IWRM and adaptive water management as developed in the Dutch Delta Programme and elsewhere in the world (incl. Vietnam Mekong Delta Plan).

A Dutch High Level Expert team, headed by former Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Cees Veerman, has been the immediate counterpart of the expert group of the NWRC.

The Outcome

Royal HaskoningDHV and partners developed strategic options and recommendations which gives a response to the national IWRM challenges and opportunities in Burma/Myanmar. The study provides research and analysis results, incl. potential Myanmar development scenarios and applicable strategies to cope with the possible futures from an IWRM point of view. From Vision to action. The study also produced a long list of no-regret and quick-win projects and activities for short term implementation.
Royal HaskoningDHV and partners have based this strategic study, with 'building blocks' for future policy development, capacity building and legal framework elements, on intensive stakeholder participation and discussions with experts in Myanmar.

The strategic study results has been translated into Burmese and will be used by the Burma/Myanmar government to decide on strategic options for the distinguished regions. The longlist of potential projects fitting in the strategies has proved itself as valuable input for the International donors keen to assist Myanmar in its further development.

This strategic study puts the Netherlands into a position in which it is able to advise the GoM and its strategic donors on the relevance of proposed programs and projects.