American Journal of Applied Sciences

Ethics and Sustainability: A Review of Water Policy and Management

Ravichandran Moorthy and Ganesan Jeyabalan

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2012.24.31

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 9, Issue 1

Pages 24-31


Problem statement: This is a review paper that examines the extent aspects such as ethics, sustainability and the environment manifest in the water policy and water management in Malaysia. The study examines two aspects of this topic; firstly it examines the various objectives and considerations in the National Water Policy and secondly it discusses the issues that arise regarding water policy and management, especially with regard to federal-states jurisdiction issues, legislations in water management and the problems related to inter-agency coordination, especially among agencies involved in the management of rivers. Approach: A qualitative approach is employed in this study. It provides a comprehensive review of the stated problem based on document analysis and interviews with individuals involved in policy formulation and from agencies involved in water management. Results: The study reveals two major findings; the first shows that the National Water Policy provide a holistic approach in dealing with water-by providing safe, adequate and affordable water supply to people; providing sufficient water that will ensure national and food security and promote rural development; sufficient water to spur and sustain economic growth; and protection of the water environment to preserve water resources. Second, it examines issues regarding water management such as the jurisdiction between federal and state governments, legislations and enforcement and inefficiency in inter-agency coordination that hinder the realization of this policy’s objectives. Conclusion: The study concludes that despite the holistic coverage of the national water policy, there are apparent problems with regard to the jurisdiction, legislation and coordination initiatives that have resulted in the poor management of water resources. The study postulates that, in addition to better coordination between water related agencies and more cohesive water legislations structure, it is fundamental to infuse the knowledge of ‘water ethics’ among water managers, institutions, the general public and into water policy formulation and implementation initiatives.


© 2012 Ravichandran Moorthy and Ganesan Jeyabalan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.