Asia and the Pacific is a "global hot spot for water insecurity", a new report from the Asian Development Bank claims.

The analysis of 48 countries’ water security shows an overall improvement in the region, however the rapid economic growth predicted points to a continuing rise in demand for water.

The number of countries categorised a “water-insecure” was 29 out of 48 (60 per cent), compared to 38 out of 49 (78 per cent) in 2013, the last time such analysis was produced.

The report uses a five-level national water security index, from low to high: hazardous, engaged, capable, effective, and model. In this years’ report, five countries were classified in the “hazardous” zone, from lowest: Afghanistan, Kiribati, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Six were classified as “effective”, from highest: New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Brunei Darussalam, and Hong Kong. None were classified as “model”.

Economic growth across Asia and the Pacific is expected to average 5.7 per cent in the next two years, with water demand growing in step. The region is expected to host 22 mega cities by 2030, and the population is predicted to rise to 5.2 billion by 2050. Meanwhile, 1.7 billion people currently lack access to basic sanitation.

Asian Water Development Outlook 2016: Strengthening Water Security in Asia and the Pacific, is produced in partnership with the Asia Pacific Water Forum, and key contributors Asia Pacific Centre for Water Security at Tsinghau University, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, International Water Centre, and International Water Management Institute.

It provides a snapshot of the region’s water security status, for policy makers, financiers, and planners.