City of Iloilo (Philippines) - City of Phnom Penh (Cambodia)

USAID facilitated a twinning partnership between Phnom Penh and the city of Iloilo in the Philippines in 2008, both members of the ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable Cities Initiative. The partnership included a range of sanitation and hygiene promotion activities for Russei Keo that had been piloted in Iloilo. That knowledge, combined with an environmental health survey of the district, led Phnom Penh to become a testing ground for a WaterLinks toolkit for promoting community-based programs for water, sanitation and hygiene. Building on the twinning experience and the toolkit, the Municipality of Phnom Penh organized Cambodia’s first-ever water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) promotion day which drew over 1,200 participants.

Indah Water Konsortium (Malaysia) - Ha Long Urban Environmental Management (Vietnam)

From 2007 to 2008 USAID facilitated a twinning partnership between Indah Water Konsortium of Malaysia (IWK) and the Urban Environmental Company (URENCO) of Halong City, Vietnam, the city's wastewater treatment plan operator. Consultations between USAID and URENCO revealed that URENCO's staff needed additional training to operate and maintain its Bai Chay centralized wastewater treatment and interceptor sewer system. IWK then developed and administered a series of trainings on treatment system optimization and preventative maintenance. At the conclusion of the partnership URENCO reported a 25% increase in contaminant removal resulting from better system optimization practices suggested by IWK. URENCO also plans to apply the O&M procedures co-developed by IWK for its second treatment plant.

Indah Water Konsortium (Malaysia) - PDAM Tirtanadi Medan (Indonesia)

USAID is facilitating a twinning partnership between Indah Water Konsortium of Malaysia (IWK) and PDAM Tirtanadi of Medan, Indonesia to support Medan to increase the number of connections to sewerage facilities by increasing demand for sanitation services (including willingness-to-pay for services) through improved customer outreach and awareness raising. IWK is working with Medan to first review and recommend any changes to their sanitation strategy and will then share its experience and expertise on promotion activities, including information campaigns and marketing. Medan will develop their promotions campaign using the 10-step ECO-Asia promotions toolkit and ensure that the campaign specifically targets the participation of women.

King County Wastewater Treatment Department (US) - Wastewater Management Authority and Municipality of Krabi (Thailand)

In 2008 USAID initiated a twinning partnership between Thailand's Wastewater Management Authority (WMA) and the King County Wastewater Treatment Division in the US State of Washington to strengthen the capacities of WMA and select local government authorities (LGAs) to better manage and sustain wastewater treatment facilities. Over the last 20 years the Royal Thai government has supported the construction of wastewater management systems in 87 locations throughout the country, but a survey in 2003 by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment revealed that over 75% of these systems are in poor condition or are inoperable. During 2009 King County is currently sharing its best practices and helping develop manuals/operating procedures for operating and maintaining these facilities. WMA will in turn institutionalize the new approaches and apply them when working with future LGAs to ensure sustainable services delivery.

WMA -Thailand and King County twinning

USAID's ECO-Asia is facilitating a twinning partnership between Wastewater Management Authority (WMA) of Thailand and King County (US) to transfer best practices and practical solutions to strengthen WMA's capacity to better manage, operate, and maintain wastewater treatment plants throughout Thailand. Funded by WMA, the WMA Board visited King County's Wastewater Treatment Division during July 28-29, 2008 and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a one-year twinning partnership, discussed twinning activities, and visited wastewater treatment plants to understand King County polices and practices in providing wastewater services. Through this partnership, WMA and King County will develop and institutionalize a toolkit on wastewater management and operation and maintenance in Krabi, an ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable City, and replicate lessons learned throughout Thailand.

IWK-Malaysia and PDAM Tirtanadi in partnership to promote sanitation in Medan

On December 5, 2008, Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) of Malaysia and PDAM Tirtanadi of Indonesia signed a Memorandum of Understanding to engage in a one-year partnership on promoting sanitation in Medan, a city of two million people. The partnership, fostered by WaterLinks, will develop and implement sanitation promotion campaigns in Medan to help PDAM increase domestic sewerage connections. The signing ceremony was part of a two-day workshop that reviewed the Medan Master Plan for Sewerage and Sanitation and provided training.

IWK Malaysia-PDAM Tirtanadi MoU to expand sewerage services in Medan City

Malaysian national sewerage company, Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK), ECO Asia and PDAM Tirtanadi, Medan City water and sewerage utility firm, signed an MoU to expand sewerage services in Medan City. The tripartite MoU, inked on December 5, 2008 at the PDAM Tirtanadi office in Medan, is also to develop human capital for environmental projects in Asia. The MoU will pave the way to increase the number of premises linked to the main sewerage system in Medan which currently only numbered 11,500 or 57,500 people enjoyed the facility.

Indah Water of Malaysia Assists Medan, Indonesia on Sanitation Promotion

As part of their WaterLinks twinning partnership, five staff members from the Medan water utility and Medan’s Sanitation Working Group visited Indah Water Konsortium’s (IWK) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on February 3-5, 2009 to participate in a sanitation promotion and planning workshop. During the visit, IWK reviewed Medan’s sanitation master plan, demonstrated IWK’s sanitation public awareness program, and the two partners jointly prepared an initial sanitation promotion plan for Medan using the 10-step Water and Sanitation Promotion Toolkit developed by USAID’s Environmental-Cooperation Asia (ECO-Asia) program. Medan and the Sanitation Working Group will return to Medan and further develop the sanitation promotion campaign before a formal launching in April, 2009. USAID supports WaterLinks through its ECO-Asia program.

Growing interest of Asian utilities in PUPs

ADB-organized session on "Financing Water and Sanitation in Asian Cities" at 4th World Urban Forum (Nanjing, China, Nov 08) discusses the latest trends in meeting the huge investments requirements for urban water and sanitation in Asian cities. The session aims at discussing more specifically on the new frontiers of water financing in selected Asian countries. Recently, international development agencies made more efforts towards promoting private investments and nonsovereign lending in financing of urban waster and sanitation. On the other hand, the public-public partnership is gaining new interest by the region's utilities. Innovative ways of financing water and sanitation is therefore a continuous challenge to all involved in the sector.

Korea Water - Nonsan City PUP

Initiated in 2004, the partnership between Nonsan City and K-water, a public water utility, is the first PUP ever formed in the water sector for a municipality in South Korea. Its objective is to reduce NRW by exploring new technologies and practices to improve distribution management and lower operating costs. Nonsan city was under financial pressure in water services and as indicated in the statistics, one of the poorest water providers in terms of management and operations. K-water proposed a partnership with a particular focus on NRW reduction programs. The partnership was welcomed by the mayor, local parliament and NGOs. The drivers for the partnership are: • Growing budgetary constraints on funding • Lack of managerial and technical capability • Call for better water services from constituents • Acknowledgement of added value of the partner. The Nonsan-K Water PUP is based on a concession contract that reflected client needs, but accommodated target and performance elements. Contractual elements – 30 years of concession period (2004 onwards) • US$50 million to invest in mains replacement/ rehabilitation with a target ROE of 3 %(100% equity investment) • Water tariff is inflation protected • Water tariff collection by municipality • Take over of existing employees • K-water paid management services fee per cubic meter supplied. The scope of work includes – Mains replacement/rehabilitation; Network modeling/GIS; Leak detection/repair; Operation of customer (call) center; Water tariff billing. After four years of the PUP, NRW was reduced from 47% to 30%; Customer Satisfaction Index increased from 56 to 76; Water Tariff decreased from 854 Won/m3 to 826 Won/m3.

Korea Water-Local Govt PUPs to improve municipal water supply

The Evolving Idea of Public-Public Partnership (“PUPs”) Water in Sector --
K-water, a state-owned bulk water supplier has assisted local governments
with capacity building and technical consultancy for their water supply systems
since 1980s. With its financial and technical capabilities and community support, K-water has gained a reputation for its expertise and seen as an alternative to private sector and as an partner for water services delivery. The motivation differs between local governments. However, local governments want technical and managerial expertise rather than funding sources, so that water services are delivered at an affordable price and in a stable manner. K-water’s Partnership with Municipal Governments: (i) Mostly partnering with municipalities with financial and technical problems formed partnerships with 13 municipalities to date and plan to sign additional 50 municipalities by 2015; (ii) K-water’s planned equity investment for 13 municipal water system: 600 million US$; (iii) K-Water is not profit-driven, and return on invested capital is only 3 ~3.26%; (iv) K-water also engaged in the operations of 11 wastewater treatment facilities on a PUPs basis. PUPs Development : Key Messages -- (i) Like PPP, PUPs can also ensure efficiency in the provisioning of water services non-revenue water including decreasing the non water, providing affordable and accessible water for all, ensure water quality and the accountability of the water authority to the public. (ii) The success of PUPs relies on their not for-profit basis and retention of public operations, with the collaboration being stimulated by mutual trust and understanding and public sector ethos. (iii) PUPs aims at creating win-win situation at the public-public interface and should be dealt with in an economically sensible way. (iv) The Community is an important partner in the PUPs relationship; Nonsan PUPs would not be successful without support from them.

Singapore PUB, Employees Union, Ngee An Polytechnic diploma course in water

Public Utilities Board (PUB) and Public Utilities Board Employees' Union (PUBEU), in collaboration with Ngee Ann Polytechnic, launched part-time 3-year diploma course in water technology Dec 2002. The diploma aims to equip PUB's technical support officers (TSOs) with technology know-how and engineering skills to support and manage the operations of a water utility. The Diploma is the first of its kind offered in the region. New diploma will help develop expertise in water reclamation, wastewater collection and treatment, safety, health and environmental management. PUB Chair Tan Gee Paw said: "The uniqueness of the Diploma in Water Technology is that it is an in-house programme drawing upon the operational expertise of our own experts in PUB but jointly developed with the academic rigour that only a tertiary institution like Ngee Ann Polytechnic can provide. The lectures will be delivered by both PUB's experts as well as academic staff from Ngee Ann." The PUBEU was instrumental in championing the diploma and encouraging employees to pursue this course of study. Ngee Ann Polytechnic's Centre for Professional Development, which offers the diploma, has designed the programme based on a modular credit system. The curriculum consists of a mix of core and elective modules. Students can take up the relevant elective modules offered to further their knowledge in certain technical areas.

Singapore's Water Quality Above International Benchmarks

The water that flows out of Singapore's taps every day not only meets international benchmarks set by world authorities but also surpasses them. This verdict was given by an independent external water audit panel, made up of six foreign and local experts. The audit found that the quality of PUB water and NEWater convincingly exceeds the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Standards and World Health Organisation (WHO) Drinking Water Guidelines. The external audit panel was formed in September 2003 to provide an independent review of PUB’s management of water quality from raw water in the reservoir to treated water from the tap. The independent audit panel noted that PUB ensures staff are well-equipped and trained to handle the daily operations and emergency situations that might happen. In addition to the twice-yearly external audit, PUB monitors water in all reservoirs and waterworks through daily sampling and online monitoring of critical parameters. The panel also noted that PUB has kept abreast with emerging concerns on water quality through cutting-edge research on water-treatment and water quality monitoring technologies.

Singapore ties up with Nanyang Technological University to promote water conservation

PUB has tied up with four final-year communications students from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in a pilot initiative to promote water conservation messages to lower primary students. This is being done via a three-day interactive skit, a water song and creative learning materials designed to appeal to children. This initiative titled Project Water Detective Kidz is a fun and interactive programme to teach students the importance of water in Singapore and how they should conserve, value and enjoy water, in line with PUB's corporate message, Water for All: Conserve, Value, Enjoy. Project Water Detective Kidz is the result of an exchange of creative ideas between PUB and the School of Communication and Information at NTU. The project, supported by Northwest and Southwest Community Development Councils, was held from January to March 2005 in three primary schools - New Town Primary School, Henry Park Primary School and Blangah Rise Primary School. "Project Water Detective Kidz is a demonstration of PUB's new 3P approach in trying to get Singaporeans involved in our management and ownership of this precious resource called water. By different ways of interaction, we can reach out to Singaporeans and help them understand how they can play their role to conserve, value and enjoy our water. By developing a joint ownership of water, we can ensure we have enough water for all for many generations to come," said Yap Kheng Guan, PUB's director of 3P Network Department.

Singapore PUB Partners Private Companies in Test-Bedding New Technologies for Water

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim visited four test-bedding projects at PUB's Bedok Water Reclamation Plant. The test-bedding projects are part of PUB's strategy to continuously invest in new water technologies and to partner private companies in test-bedding projects at PUB's plants. Currently, PUB is spearheading 29 R&D projects. Some of its project partners include tertiary institutions such as the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University as well as private companies such as Singaport Cleanseas, GrahamTek, Keppel Engineering and PulverDryer. PUB's focus is on practical application of new ideas that emerge from fundamental research from the universities. PUB has technology groups made up of engineers and scientists who regularly scan for new ideas and best practices globally to try out on a pilot scale in the plants. This approach to research and development has served PUB well, especially in the development of the NEWater programme and studies on Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) technology. Under its test-bedding initiative, PUB provides test sites, facilities and on-site support to private companies to operate their technology in a "real-life" industrial environment. Through rigorous testing and the evaluation of operational data gathered, the companies are then able to fine-tune and improve their products to meet industry standards. "These companies can then market their technologies commercially and compete more effectively overseas," said Harry Seah, PUB's Technology Office Director. "Investing in water technology and research is an integral part of Singapore's water sustainability efforts", said Mr Seah. "New technology, for example, membrane filtration used to produce NEWater, increases our water supply, is more cost-efficient and improves our operation and reliability." Commenting on PUB's technology thrust, Mr Seah said, "There is a two-fold benefit to PUB's investment in research and development of new technologies. Not only does it result in new sources of water, like NEWater, it also helps to nurture and develop a thriving local water industry, which further contributes to water sustainability efforts in Singapore."

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