PUP: Haiphong Water/Vietnam – DAWACO/Vietnam twinning

The water utilities of the two big port cities Haiphong and Da Nang, about 900 kilometers away from each other, found that they share the same challenge, i.e., providing quality and reliable drinking water services to their communities in the most economical and efficient way. They also realized that Haiphong Water is performing better than DAWACO (Da Nang Water Supply Company) – Hai Phong has reduced its NRW levels to 21.5% from levels above 60% in the last 10 years. In May 2008, they entered into a twinning program to work on Da Nang’s NRW and management practices. The ‘twins’ see great value in learning from similar utilities because of demonstrative methods that achieve results. [USAID is also facilitating a twinning partnership between DAWACO and Manila Water International Solutions (MWIS), a subsidiary of the private operator Manila Water Company, to support DAWACO’s efforts to provide a safe water supply to its 99,000 customers in Da Nang.]

PUP: PPWSA/Cambodia – BIWASE/Vietnam twinning

From a war-torn utility, Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) is now considered as one of Asia’s outstanding public utilities – financially and operationally autonomous, achieving full cost recovery and a low NRW level at 6%, and a growing reputation for organizational excellence, customer-oriented service, and high-level of service performance. Under an inspired leadership, PPWSA brings safe drinking water to a million people in Cambodia’s capital city. Binh Duong Water Supply Sewerage Environment Company (BIWASE) provides the water needs of 1.2 million consumers in Vietnam’s southeastern province of Binh Duong. Like many others in Asia, BIWASE suffered from high-levels of NRW, faulty or inaccurate metering, and distribution system breakdowns. In July 2007, PPWSA was tapped as ‘expert twin’ under WOPs. Twenty-two BIWASE personnel then visited Phnom Penh to touch base with their PPWSA counterparts and see for themselves the renowned efficient operations through hands-on experience. Despite language and cultural differences, initial skepticism and other challenges, BIWASE managers learned much from the twinning, applied what they learned, and are now enjoying the fruits of the partnership. Claiming that they, too, are now experts, BIWASE colleagues had been given more challenging tasks that resulted in, among others – more streamlined work processes; 800-strong personnel fully-trained to apply new standard operating procedures; a 24-hour customer hotline; better-trained meter reading personnel. BIWASE now feels the benefits of the twinning arrangement – more revenues; fewer customer complaints about meter reading errors; and NRW drastically dropped by 20% with better planning of district metered areas — a strategy they learned from PPWSA. With BIWASE’s progress, other utilities in Vietnam are following suit and have identified better practices and applied them.

PUPs in ADB's WOPs

The Water Operators Partnership (WOPs) Program of Asian Development Bank (ADB) has as a key component the twinning of water utilities and operators, both public and private, in the Asia-Pacific region. Twinning as a development strategy has been around for decades; in many cases, towns, universities, and other entities located in geographically distinct areas, but sharing similar characteristics, pair off to foster human contact, cultural exchange, or knowledge sharing. ADB has adopted and improved on this strategy for its WOPs program to promote knowledge sharing and build the capacity of water operators and utilities in the region. Whereas most twinning arrangements pair off entities with similar characteristics on the assumption that they will share similar problems and solutions, the Bank’s approach is to match a stronger water and sanitation utility (‘expert twin’) with a developing utility (‘recipient twin’). According to ADB, there should be no commercial motive in a Bank-sponsored twinning; it is essentially a case of one utility helping another out to improve service coverage and delivery, financial sustainability, and other aspects of its performance. Over the past year, ADB has initiated eight (8) twinnings, in which four (4) involve private sector ‘expert twins’. The focus areas of twinning work programs are – Nonrevenue water (NRW); Water quality; Distribution system, design, maintenance; Management practices, including human resources; Energy saving; Metering. Activities include a diagnostic study of the recipient twin by the expert twin and ADB, exchange visits, and on-site demonstrations. In February 2009, the Bank organized its first Twinning Regional Forum to share lessons being learned and best practices. Four of eight ADB-sponsored twinnings are what would be deemed as public-public partnerships (PUPs), i.e., arrangements without profit motive and on a basis of equality.

Tamil Nadu - Right-sizing capital investments

One major problem confronting citizens groups and civil society organizations when they seek greater involvement in water management issues is over the issue of how they can ever hope to raise the huge resources and investments which are said to be required to ensure supply of water to all. At every turn in the water debate, the issue always put forward has been that the requirement of funds is so great that most countries of the third world cannot raise funds by themselves and will have to invite the private sector to invest the required funds. While there has been a major debate over the issue of support or opposition to privatization of water supply, there has been little effort to explore the issue of assessing whether the projected amount of investment said to be required to meet the Millennium Development Goals in so far as water in concerned are correctly calculated and whether these amounts are actually required. Not considered is whether technology choices are absolute or there are alternatives to scale down the so called investment. The difficulty for citizens groups is that the issue seems to be in the domain of water technologists, technocrats and economists. However as the ongoing experience of reform within a state level water utility in Tamil Nadu state in India shows, at least in the area of rural water supply, there are immense possibilities of reassessing and actually scaling down project requirements of capital investment by involving the community and stakeholders along with local democratic bodies in the management of water supply, maintenance and administration. This paper seeks to briefly highlight the issues involved, in the form of brief discussion points.

Through innovative financing, Philippine coop brings hope to waterless poor

Bagong Silang is one of 212 so-called "waterless communities" in Manila, the capital of one of the most unequal countries in the world where almost half the population lives on less than £1 a day. Access to safe, adequate and affordable water is a critical issue in such shanty towns. Though international standards suggest that only 3 per cent of a household's monthly income should be spent on water, many in Manila spend as much as 30 per cent. With funding from the UK charity One World Action, the co-operative hired an engineer and developed a business plan. It also provided training for the group and linked it with other communities which had successfully tackled water problems. A key part of its success has been the loan that the co-operative has obtained from an institution specialising in finance for community ventures. Having other sources of financing is important because projects to connect waterless areas are usually funded through the patronage of politicians. Politicians spend money on delivering water via trucks, a method that is inefficient and expensive yet politically useful. Communities who support the "wrong" candidate often do not get the services they need. The co-operative used its initial seed fund as down-payment to secure two water meters from Maynilad, the water company that covers the area. Using these it connected into Maynilad's main pipelines. It then purchased pipes from a local hardware store and connected the first households. Challenges remain but the group has now connected 103 poor households to reliable and safe water. The co-operative needs additional funding to connect the other 700 households within its target area. "If the co-operative succeeds," says Jude Esguerra, IPD's director, "it will serve as a blueprint for how communities can work together to secure the services they need and provide hope for the hundreds of other waterless communities."

Philippines: MCWD-Compostela talks on water supply for Cebu

THE Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) wants to reopen negotiations with Compostela, Cebu to allow the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) to bring water from that northern town to Metro Cebu, an official said. LWUA Chairman Prospero Pichay said their records clearly show Cebu has a water supply problem. “I already instructed my men to go around the entire province of Cebu to source water for Cebu City. We have been pointed to a few areas. One is the controversial deep wells in Compostela. I have already talked to the mayor of Compostela and I think we will be able to come up with a solution so that we can extract 15,000 cubic meters of water to bring to Metro Cebu,” Pichay said. Pichay said they have also identified one water source in the boundary of Balamban town and Cebu City where about 50,000 cubic meters of water can be extracted. “If we can tap these two areas, Metro Cebu will have a tremendous supply of water. With 65,000 cubic meters (per day) in addition to the existing supply, I think Cebu will have no water problem in the next 20 years,” Pichay said. However, Pichay said they still have to make a project study and a program of works so they will know how much to allocate.“We can either finance this through the Metropolitan Cebu Water District or we can also go into a joint venture with a private company,” Pichay said. Previous negotiations between Compostela and MCWD stopped when the water district went to court and asked that the town be compelled to let it operate 14 groundwater wells and pumping stations it had set up in 1992.The Regional Trial Court ruled in Compostela’s favor in 2002, a ruling the Court of Appeals upheld in 2006. Funded by a loan from the Asian Development Bank, the wells were projected, back in 1992, to yield 10,000 cubic meters a day.

Philippine water financing: DBP, LWUA

The Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) is expecting a ripple effect from the granting of a P2- billion loan with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) which could be used to finance counterpart for foreign financing as construction
of its water projects in the countryside needs P10 billion yearly. The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has opened a P2 billion credit facility for the country's water supply improvement and expansion projects. Eligible and credit-worthy water districts could borrow from DBP to finance their expansion, upgrading or rehabilitation of existing water systems. DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Simon R. Paterno said the initial amount of P2 billion is intended to help fasttrack the delivery of basic water services in densely populated areas in the countryside. The bank has earlier forged a partnership agreement with the LWUA that would provide financing to qualified water districts in the country. "We are confident that LWUA would help us ensure that these funds are used in the most appropriate and effective manner, given its technical expertise and regulatory authority over water districts," said Paterno. He stressed the need to create a lending program for credit-worthy water districts in the country.

USAID assists Philippine Water Districts to Finance Improvements

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is working with the Philippines’ Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to develop the lending facility as part of the Philippine government’s implementation of water sector reforms. Its use will improve the credit-worthiness of water districts. USAID’s Environmental Cooperation-Asia (ECO-Asia) Program, which focuses on improving water and sanitation services and environmental enforcement and compliance, is partnering with LWUA on the proposal. The key strategy is the LWUA Efficiency Improvement Program, which recommends that water districts first become operationally and financially efficient before they take on a major capital expenditure program. By prioritizing improvements in efficiency over large capital expenditures, less creditworthy water districts can begin to position themselves for long-term financing expansion initiatives.

KARACHI: Residents Solve Own Sanitation Woes

With a new and efficient sewerage system in place, residents in this slum area need not endure filthy surroundings any more.
Unlike his neighbours in the opposite lane, Muhammad Salam lets his children play out in the street without the slightest worry. That’s because Salam, a resident of Ghaziaba locality in the large Orangi informal settlement in this port city, is happy with the fact that there is concrete flooring along the street he lives in. Beneath this is a sewerage lane that efficiently collects wastewater from all 24 houses in the area. Mobilised by social workers from Orangi Pilot Project (OPP), a civil society organisation working in Karachi’s slum dwellings for over two decades, residents here put their heads together to deal with one of the most pressing issues facing their community – their need to do something about their own environment. OPP, having vast experience in the field, extended further help in the form of technical assistance. The result was a clean street, costing just 600 rupees (10 U.S. dollars) per household. The project was conceived and initiated in the early 1980s by Dr Akhtar Hameed Khan, a social scientist from Pakistan whose development techniques have been recognised widely around the world. He believed that if community initiatives get some support, sustainable development is possible using indigenous resources.

Climate Change Adaptation Strategies of Metro Cebu Water District

Current Setting in Addressing Climate Issues in Metro Cebu --
• Not been given enough attention or priority • Most adaptation activities are reactive in nature • Lack of awareness of the climate change impacts • Lack of technical people, tools and technology to address climate change impact projections, vulnerability assessments, planning and development of coping measures and evaluation of adaptation strategies

Ongoing Strategies --
• Reforestation of watershed areas • Disaster coordinating/response committee • Water pricing for demand management • NRW reduction program • Construction of gabion dams on some rivers/ streams • Regular monitoring of water levels and salinity • Energy efficiency program • Disseminating water conservation tips

Experience of Metro Cebu Water District in Financial Sustainability

Key Features of Financially Sustainable Water Utilities
1. Cost Recovery Pricing
2. Ring Fenced Revenues
3. Autonomy and Accountability
4. Incentives for Reforms and Penalties for Failures
5. Use of Progressive Performance Standards

Dhaka Water (Bangladesh) - Korea Water (Daejon) twinning under ADB-WOP

Korea Water (Daejon) is 'expert twin' to 'recipient twin' Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Bangladesh) under the Water Operators Partnership (WOP) program of Asian Development Bank. Dhaka Water serves 10 million customers and relies on ground water as its source, including wells and the nearby river. It has great difficulty sustaining high water quality and service continuity. In contrast, its twinning partner— K Water— has superior water quality results and provides 24/7 supply to an equally large population. In this twinning deal, improving water quality is the immediate target. Twinning as a development strategy has been around since the first millennium. In many cases, towns, universities, and other entities located in geographically distinct areas, but sharing similar characteristics, pair off to foster human contact, cultural exchange, or knowledge sharing. ADB has adopted and improved on this strategy for its WOPs Program. The WOPs program promotes knowledge sharing and builds the capacity of water operators and utilities in the Asia and the Pacific region. Among its key initiatives is the twinning of 20 water utilities and operators. Whereas most twinning arrangements pair off entities with similar characteristics on the assumption that they will share similar problems and solutions, ADB’s approach is to match a stronger water and sanitation utility (expert) with a developing utility (recipient). The aim is to enable the latter to improve service coverage and delivery, financial sustainability, and other aspects of its performance. []

Cebu Water – City West water twinning

Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) is well run and serves over a million people. The utility targets further reducing its NRW, which has already been cut from around 50% a few years ago to the current 28% average. It anticipates getting performance benefits by twinning with Melbourne-based City West Water whose customer base is more than three times that of Cebu and its NRW is just under 9%. []

City West (Melbourne) - MCWD (Philippines) twinning under ADB-WOPs

Earlier in 2008, City West Water was invited to take part in a 12-month partnership program to help a developing nation – in this case the Philippines – improve their water infrastructure. Ten international water businesses from around the world have been chosen to participate. As the only Australian or New Zealand water company to be selected for the program, we (City West) promptly pulled together a team of engineers and technicians all keen to apply their skills and knowledge in a totally different environment. Largely funded by the Asia Development Bank, our involvement in the partnership program commenced in June 2008 with a visit by key members of our engineering team to the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD), a government-owned water company in the heart of the Philippines.

City West Water (Melbourne, Australia)

City West Water is one of three retail water businesses in metropolitan Melbourne owned by the Victorian Government. We provide drinking water, sewerage, trade waste and recycled water services to approximately 276,000 residential and 31,300 non-residential (industrial and commercial) customers in Melbourne’s Central Business District and inner and western suburbs. City West Water's boundaries contain the local government areas of Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melbourne (north of the Yarra River), Moonee Valley, Wyndham, Yarra and parts of Melton and Hume. [City West Water is an 'expert twin' in ADB's Water Operator Partnerships Program/WOPs, paired with Metropolitan Cebu Water District/Philippines as the 'recipient twin'.]

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