Watergy Fact Sheet: Philippines

The Philippine Government estimates that 80% of its population of 76.5 million has access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Ensuring access to water and sanitation is critical for improving the economic and social development of its citizenry. By focusing on efforts to eliminate the inefficiencies common to many water systems, water utility firms can dramatically improve the quality of service they provide as well as increase the quantity of water they deliver. Some of the major challenges involve high rates of unaccounted-for water, low water service coverage, lack of sanitation facilities, and high cost of power for pumping and distributing water. 

Energy Audit Guidebook for Water Utilities in the Philippines

The Alliance in coordination with ENMAP and UP, have created a guidebook on energy audits for water districts in the Philippines to assist the energy and water efficiency management teams in MIWD and MCWD and to continue to spread the heightened level of awareness and interest in energy and water savings in all Filipino water utilities.

Download the guidebook in PDF format.

With support from the U.S.-Asia Environmental Partnership (US-AEP), the Alliance to Save Energy is currently implementing a water and energy efficiency program in the Philippines, partnering with local municipal governments and water utility companies in Cebu and Iloilo. The goals of this program are to improve overall system efficiency in municipal water systems, and reduce costs and negative environmental impacts, while expanding water and wastewater services to the country's underserved populations; and to build capacity of municipalities, companies and NGOs focused upon urban infrastructure development to develop a comprehensive strategy to identify energy savings. The program also aims to create efficiency models based upon capacity building partnerships with local water and wastewater municipal entities to ensure sustainability within the country.

In 2004, the program focused on building the capacity of local groups to conduct energy audits in Filipino water utilities. With assistance from The Energy Research Institute in India, the Alliance trained a group of engineers from the Energy Managers Association of the Philippines (ENMAP) and the University of the Philippines (UP) to conduct a comprehensive energy efficiency audit of the Municipal Iloilo Water District (MIWD).

The auditors also provided MCWD with comprehensive classroom training on energy audits. Data supporting the energy savings associated with implementation of recommendations provided will be used to interest other local municipalities to incorporate energy efficiency into their operations and maintenance programs and replicate the municipal efficiency model in other areas of the country. The Alliance also continues to engage in outreach efforts to create a network of appropriate private sector manufacturers of high-efficiency water and energy technology and services.

The Alliance's work in the Philippines began in the city of Iloilo with MIWD and continued with a second energy audit in MCWD in 2004. The MIWD audit was the first known, comprehensive energy audit to be conducted in a Filipino water utility. UP engineers, as a result of this training, designed and instated a water utility energy auditing course within its College of Engineering.

Based on the knowledge and experience gained by these engineers, the Alliance hired a team of auditors from ENMAP and UP to conduct a similar energy audit in the Municipal Cebu Water District (MCWD). MIWD has established an action plan to completely implement the energy efficiency recommendations identified in the energy audit, and it has started to execute select recommendations including the replacement of one pump and motor unit, procurement of four additional pump units for replacement. and monitoring of direct injection of alum into the upper level pumping station.

MIWD will invest $127,905 to implement the recommendations, $64,664 of which comes from a Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), and Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan.

MCWD has also established a time frame to implement recommendations from their energy audit. They have started rehabilitation work for a 100 hp pump, including installation of new controls, and they are re-piping wells affected by iron bacteria. MCWD is investing $171,376 over a five year period to implement recommendations. Savings from the audits will help water districts increase their water supply coverage and improve aging infrastructure. The most significant outcome of these energy audits is the training of local Filipino engineers to conduct future energy audits in other water districts.

To build upon this work and establish a network of energy and water technology and service providers in the Philippines, the Alliance organized seminars on street lighting and energy efficiency in both Cebu and Iloilo, in addition to a Watergy conference in Iloilo to disseminate the results of the energy audit held in MIWD. The conference provided information on the status of the MIWD audit program implementation, non-revenue water reduction, water quality and tariff issues, and updated participants on new technologies. The Alliance in June 2005 also held a similar water and energy conference in Cebu highlighting the results of the energy audit held in MCWD. The conference provided information on energy and water saving technologies and services and on ESCO financing. Participants for this event included representatives from local water utilities, government, and the private sector.