Research Article Open Access

Ethics and Sustainability: A Review of Water Policy and Management

Ravichandran Moorthy1 and Ganesan Jeyabalan2
  • 1 School of History, Politics and Strategy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43000 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 2 Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Putrajaya, Malaysia


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.

American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 9 No. 1, 2012, 24-31


Submitted On: 9 October 2011 Published On: 3 November 2011

How to Cite: Moorthy, R. & Jeyabalan, G. (2012). Ethics and Sustainability: A Review of Water Policy and Management. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 9(1), 24-31.

  • 10 Citations



  • National Department of Environment (DOE)
  • water legislation
  • water ethics
  • inter-agency coordination
  • river pollution
  • practices regarding water resources
  • coordination initiatives
  • environmental ethics