Twinning with water utilities in developing countries

by Sydney Water

(Business)

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Sydney Water is twinning with utilities in Papua New Guinea and Fiji, working with them on key issues like environmental regulation and trade waste management.

Project implemented: Since 2013

Project goal

Build capacity in developing countries to deliver safe and reliable water and wastewater services and protect public health and the environment.

delivering on

why is this project important?

Builds acknowledgement of the skills and experience in Australia while helping developing countries build their capacity.

Helping achieve sustainable growth in developing countries.

Sharing of industry knowledge to upskill and empower water utilities in developing countries.

Acknowledgement of skills and experience of Australian water utilities

Improvements in health and environmental management and operational efficiency.

Since 2013, Sydney Water has been working with water utilities in the Pacific Islands to help them build capacity in key operating areas such as customer service, laboratory testing and trade waste management. The program, facilitated by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), is designed to increase water utility employees’ skills through twinning with experienced operators. This helps utilities derive greater value from investments.

The ADB aims to improve the life of people in Asia and the Pacific by investing in infrastructure, health care services, financial and public administration services. ADB has been working with developing countries like Fiji and Papua New Guinea to develop water and wastewater infrastructure through loans, grants, policy dialogue and technical assistance. As part of this, Sydney Water has twinned with the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) and Eda Ranu, the water supply company in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. In 2013, Sydney Water’s first twinning arrangement was with Eda Ranu – the water utility servicing greater Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. Sydney Water trained Eda Ranu lab staff in sampling and analysing drinking water. Eda Ranu staff visited Sydney Water’s labs, where they received training and underwent proficiency assessment in best practise techniques. Sydney Water’s subject matter experts helped them develop procedures to achieve NATA accreditation. The twinning has resulted in Eda Ranu remodelling their lab, establishing procedures manuals and training its sampling and analysis in the application of Coilert-18.

With ADB’s assistance, Sydney Water and Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) have entered into a Water Operators Partnership (WOP). This partnership aims to develop capability in the areas of customer water conservation, trade waste management and environment protection. Like many Pacific Islands, Fiji is concerned with the impact of El Niño weather events, particularly with the growth in tourism and investment placing stress on urban water supplies and wastewater networks. Fiji is implementing stronger environmental legislation and WAF wanted to learn from Sydney Water’s experience of managing the relationship with their environmental regulator. As part of the twinning arrangement, WAF and Environment Ministry officers visited Sydney Water and NSW Environment Protection Authority to observe how the relationship works at a strategic and operational level. WAF has now used the model for engaging with the environmental regulator in Fiji. Sydney Water and WAF are now planning to continue this relationship, with a focus on supply chain, strategic asset management and developing better processes for working with business customers.

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