WaterLinks Chairman and Executive Director were featured as speakers at a training session organized by the International Water Association (IWA) in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) that took place at the LWUA Residences in Manila, Philippines, from 12-17 October 2017.
Arjun Thapan discussed “Climate Change and Asia’s Urban Water Services: Impacts and Options” and Executive Director Mai Flor made a presentation on “Curbing Water Loss: Reducing NRW and Managing Demand”. The main point made by Arjun was that unless water utilities in Asia woke up quickly to the reality of climate change and its impacts on urban water services, cities and economies would be negatively affected. He discussed the key features of WaterLinks toolkit on Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal and Small Island Utilities, and the benefits of becoming climate resilient. He also discussed the practical application of the toolkit in 6 water districts in the Philippines in 2015-2016 that has enabled them to make significant progress in climate readiness. Mai, in her presentation, drilled down into the subject of NRW management as one of the key elements of climate resilience. Given that Asia loses a conservative 30 billion cubic meters of treated water annually, it is essential for utilities to reduce this loss to a minimum and, simultaneously, to effect a reduction in demand so as to ensure that standard service levels are maintained in any adverse climate scenario.
During the training, the participants comprising young water professionals working with CEGIS, were engaged in interactive learning and introduced to new concepts in climate resilience and effective utility management to encourage them in thinking more deeply about applicable solutions in their own country.