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Asian Regional Session: The Role of WOPs in Adapting to Climate Change in Urban Asia

Wednesday, 24 May 2023
10:30 — 12:00
Plenary Room

Asia’s rapid urban growth continues unabated. It is estimated that by 2030 more than 55% of its population will live in towns and cities. These urban centers will propel economic growth. Stable, predictable, and high-quality water and sanitation services are a key ingredient of this growth. Water demand for household, commercial, and industrial use is on the rise as temperatures increase, and availability is affected by extended dry seasons, the continued contamination of groundwater aquifers, and unpredictable precipitation. The imperatives of developing circular water economies in urban Asia have never been more urgent.

WOPs in Asia have a key role to play in developing efficient and effective water and sanitation service providers. Asia’s urban centers need assured water that is supplied and used efficiently, as well as arrangements to treat and reuse used water. Reducing non-revenue water is the highest priority given that estimates of urban water loss range from 30 to 65% while many cities have intermittent. Megacities like Dhaka and Karachi with more than 20 million inhabitants each have poor levels and quality of water supply and even poorer sanitation services. Utilities need to minimize water losses, collect and treat used water for secondary uses, and prevent contamination of ground and surface water sources to minimize treatment complexities and costs.

Recent WOPs in Asia have demonstrated the feasibility of utilities learning from mentors to (i) reduce NRW, (ii) improve sanitation services, (iii) improve asset management, (iv) develop climate risk registers, prepare vulnerability assessments, and craft medium- and long-term climate resilient business plans and emergency adaptation plans, and (vi) and reuse wastewater. This session will present a sample of WOPs that have helped utilities gain operational efficiency and improve service delivery in the face of climate risks and challenges. Moreover, the experience and challenges of regional platforms in promoting and expanding WOPs will be discussed to identify actions that can help scale these partnerships across Asia as it has proven itself an important instrument in developing the capacities of water and sanitation operators across the region.

— Session Programme

The 90-minute session will start with a welcome and opening statement by the moderator. There will be three (3) short presentations of 10 minutes each to be followed by a few questions from the floor. Thereafter, seven (7) panelists will be called and will be requested to provide a short introduction on their offices/agencies and their roles in WOPs/SOPs. A moderated panel discussion follows that includes the original three (3) speakers. The session will end with a summary of discussions and recommendations.


Moderator: WaterLinks – Yolanda Gomez



  1. ADB Alison Woodruff
  2. Societa Metropolitana Acque Torino S.p.A (SMAT) – Daniel Novarino
  3. Khulna Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (KWASA) – Mohammad Abdullah


1. Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) – Ruhaidah Md. Hassan

2. PD PAL Banjarmasin – Deris Kusdinar or Endang Waryono

3. Maynilad Water Services, Inc. – Edmundo M. Perez, II

4. Pakistan Water Operators Network (PWON) – PWON President (tbc)

5. PDAM Kota Surabaya - Justitiana Eka Anggraini

6. WaterLinks – Mai Flor

7. GWOPA – Anne Busquet (tbc)



(5 mins) Welcome and Opening Statement – Moderator

(10 mins) WOPs in Indonesia – challenges and prospects: Financing and other issues – PERPAMSI

(10 mins) Mentor’s Viewpoint – WOP/SOP Success Factors and Challenges: What drives mentors to mentor? – SMAT

(10 mins) Mentee’s Viewpoint – WOP/SOP Success Factors, Benefits, and Challenges – KWASA

(10 mins) Q&A – Moderator

(35 mins) Panel Discussion – Moderator

(10 mins) Conclusion, Closing Remarks and Announcements – Moderator