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Asia's Urban Water Crisis: Options in Engineering Efficiency

WaterLinks organized a seminar entitled “Asia’s Urban Water Crisis: Options in Engineering Efficiency” in conjunction with its Board of Trustees meeting. It was held on 10-11 October 2017 at the Mercure Manila Ortigas Hotel, Pasig City and featured speakers who shared their long years of experience in the water supply and sanitation sector managing their own utilities, cities, and projects on how to adapt to climate change, understand engineering and management options, and improve operational efficiency.

30 participants from the Philippine water districts and private companies attended the seminar.

Featured resource speakers were (i) Arjun Thapan, former Director General at the Asian Development Bank and current Chair of WaterLinks; (ii) Tony Kelly, former Managing Director of Yarra Valley Water in Melbourne and currently the Chair of SaveWater Alliance; (iii) Amit Chanan, Director, City Projects and Property, City of Sydney; (iv) Arijanto Istandar, Senior Infrastructure Technical Advisor at AECOM in Arlington, Virginia; (v) Ramon Alikpala, former Chairman of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and National Water Resources Board of the Philippines; (vi) Roderick Planta, Director, Infrastructure Staff, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA); (vii) Anupma Jain, Senior Urban Development Specialist, Asian Development Bank; (viii) Ma. Victoria Signo, Division Manager for Sewage and Sanitation, Baliwag Water District; and (ix) Ryan Baculinao, Non-Revenue Water Specialist and Project Manager of Miya Philippines.

Considerable discussion ensued on issues such as non-revenue water reduction (with interesting examples from Cagayan de Oro and Maynilad); septage management (with reference to the pioneering work done by Baliwag Water District); getting improved regulatory structures in place for the water districts, and; the entire process of business transformation (looking at Australia’s experience). The participants indicated a need for more such events under the auspices of WaterLinks.