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Together with oil and gas, water is one of the resources round which the destiny and development of Asia is being determined. The continent’s water resources, in terms of availability per capita among the lowest on the planet, are being taxed by demographic pressure, pollution and the need for impetuous economic development. To date, responses to this challenge have sought mainly to increase the water supply with the colossal unilateral projects of single governments, often debatable from the point of view of the protection both of ecosystems and of internal and international stability. To manage the tensions that affect all the major Asian rivers from the Jordan to the Mekong, and to use their waters in an economically and ecologically rational way, it would be better to create and strengthen international mechanisms and institutions, but this is an operation that, alas, fails to appear among the main points on the continental political agenda.