Climate-Smart Utility Case Story
With the changing climate, flooding in the Philippines is increasing, which threatens lives and livelihoods. People do not have access to enough water for agriculture or enough clean drinking water. Therefore, it is necessary to manage the uncertainties and risks that threaten water security through risk management approaches such as water safety plans.
As an investment company, Metro Pacific water is committed to investments in water utilities through Public Private Partnership in both green and grey infrastructure. With water utilities largely responsible for shaping the built environment, incorporation of Nature Based Solutions (NBS) to complement traditional infrastructure can be recognised as key to building sustainability and climate resilience. To complement the normal approaches of considering investment which traditionally focus on water quantity and yield, Metro Pacific Water is currently exploring the impacts of land use cover, climate risk and pollution on natural resources through space observation on two of their major lakes; Laguna Lake and Maasin Lake to ascertain the state of these resources in order to drive investment. Secondly, they believe considering investment in social infrastructure for stakeholders around water utilities can increase their willingness to pay for improved services. The case cited a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) on wastewater project which showed high Net Present Value (NPV) yet the difficulty was in communicating to stakeholders and why the need to pay for such improved service.
The lesson learned from this case is strong partnership and collaboration with key stakeholders is key when considering investments as the success of any investment is hinged on the social valuation of water and how ready organisations are in their attempt to manage climate risks. Also understanding the full catchment of the resource gives a better understanding of the competing users of resource and improves collaboration with regulators and other users.
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