October 25, 2018
These are challenging times for water utilities, and they are not about to get easier. Infrastructure capacity is hardly catching up with rapid urbanization. Visit any city in the Philippines—Cebu, Davao, Baguio—and you will be greeted by the same traffic congestion, pollution, and undisturbed construction that is dangerously similar to Metro Manila.
How can utilities achieve efficiency? The world’s best performing water utilities point to several answers: operational excellence, new technologies, continuous training, effective investments, and public engagement. But times are changing, and the best practices of the past will not bring us to where we want to be in the future.
The old thinking among utilities is to strive for excellence in infrastructure delivery: win the race to quickly build large, centralized, often expensive infrastructure to meet rising demands. The future demands a shift towards a more human-centered service delivery perspective: focusing on outcomes such as human well-being and environmental health gives rise to creative ways of solving urban water problems that also involve decentralized, nature-based solutions.
In 2019, the search for solutions to water efficiency is coming to Manila. The International Water Association (IWA)—the global network that is shaping the future of the water sector—will stage the 10th Specialist Conference on Efficient Urban Water Management on January 13-16, 2019 in the Marriott Grand Ballroom at Resorts World, Pasay City.
The conference dubbed “Efficient 2019” will bring together the world’s leading experts, thought leaders and practitioners to tackle the challenges of efficient urban water management. Efficient 2019 is jointly hosted by industry leaders Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and Metro Pacific Water, and supported by the Asian Development Bank and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.