AYALA-OWNED Manila Water Co., Inc. has signed a memorandum of understanding with leading institutions in Australia for water security in the Asia Pacific.
Manila Water said it partnered with the International Water Centre, Australia and the University of Queensland, Australia Advance Water Management Centre to form a program aimed at developing principles, procedures and projects for water security in the region.
Dubbed as “Collaborative Sphere of Excellence in Water Security for the Asia Pacific Region,” the program will utilize the expertise and experiences of these entities using a three-pronged approach.
The University of Queensland through the Advanced Water Management Centre will focus on the development and sharing of industry knowledge and research, the International Water Centre will lead the capacity building through translation and training, and Manila Water will work on the adoption of principles and stewardship acts.
All involved parties agreed “to promote specific activities or projects, as well as seek twinning and funding partners to achieve the vision of water security in light of emerging challenges such as climate change, population, urbanization, environmental degradation and others,” Manila Water said.
Manila Water Chief Operating Officer for New Business Operations Virgilio Rivera Jr. said the initiative reflects their determination to contribute to the attainment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly on clean water and sanitation.
“Our vision is to get quality and committed stakeholders to get involved in creating and implementing projects that will assist in ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all,” Rivera added.
For his part, International Water Centre Chief Executive Officer Mark Pascoe said, “Some of the gaps here in the Philippines and in Asia Pacific are much larger than in Australia, and I think that would require some innovation where we can serve as conduits in the implementation of two-way learning and development.”
Founded in 2005, the International Water Centre in Brisbane is dedicated to providing the most advanced education and training, applied research and knowledge services to implement a whole-of-water cycle approach and develop capacity in integrated water resource management.
Meanwhile, the University of Queensland (Australia) Advance Water Management Centre is a globally recognized institution centering on innovative water technology and management.
Incorporated in 1997, Manila Water provides water, sewerage and sanitation, distribution services, pipe works, and management services to residential, commercial, and industrial customers.
Shares of Manila Water gained 0.49 percent to close at P30.85 on Friday.