Despite the seemingly dismal outlook for waterways, international aid and governmental efforts are giving hope for local rehabilitation in some areas. For example, the Pasig River in the Philippines received industrial wastes, municipal solid wastes, and garbage. By the early 1990s, the river was considered biologically inactive and had dangerously high counts of fecal coliform . The river was a dark, murky color, and large rafts of floating garbage covered the surface of many river segments. Sunken boats and abandoned barges made navigation difficult and hazardous. Factories and makeshift shacks lined long stretches of the riverbank, as well as tributaries and estuaries . With help from assistance grants from the government of Denmark and the Asian Development Bank, the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission was established in 1999 by an executive order from Philippines president Joseph Estrada. The government's goal is to upgrade the river's quality so it can sustain aquatic life and can be used for recreation by 2008.
The World Bank in a 2007 report stated that between 1990 and 2005 there have been major financial investments in water infrastructure. While urban water supply coverage increased from 50% to 90%, there are still seasonal water shortages in many cities. Water usage by the growing population has increased but it has decreased by industry causing a stabilization of the overall water usage level. Sewage treatment of urban wastewater more than tripled from 15% to 52%. Installed wastewater treatment capacity grew much more quickly due to an increasing absolute amount of wastewater. Absolute release of municipal pollutants has decreased slightly since 2000.