Water and Urban Initiative Presents Final Research Findings in Manila

On 24 to 26 October, a group of researchers from the UNU-IAS Water and Urban Initiative (WUI) visited the Philippines for consultation and training workshops. The workshops are co-organized in Manila by UNU-IAS and the University of the Philippines School of Urban and Regional Planning (UP SURP). Implemented in selected Asian cities, WUI is a four-year research project, which will finish next March, that has aimed to contribute to sustainable urban development by creating scientific tools to forecast the future state of urban water environments.

On the first day, a team composed of Binaya Mishra, Mohamed Kefi, Pankaj Kumar, Yoshifumi Masago, Shokhrukh Jalilov and Misato Dilley shared key findings of their research on flood risk and damage, water quality, and water-borne health risks, using metropolitan Manila as a case study. Their final simulation model incorporated the recommendations from the first consultation workshop in Manila held on March 2 and 3, 2017.

Two-day hands-on training workshops followed, covering the use of the Flo-2D flood management and damage assessment model, and the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) water quality model.

A workshop on flood modelling and damage assessment was attended by researchers and practitioners from government agencies, research institutions, academic institutions, non-government organizations, and the local governments of Antipolo, Valenzuela, Pasig and Quezon City. Participants learned how to use tools such as FLO-2D that simulate flooding and estimate flood damages. The aim is that, with additional knowledge of flood modeling, these stakeholders can come up with and implement policies that address the future risks of urban flooding.

Another training workshop held simultaneously on water quality projection was joined by local technical experts. Through this workshop, participants learned how to operate WEAP software, a tool used in integrated water resources planning and in water management policy analysis and policy making. Ultimately, it is hoped that such scientific tools can simulate future water quality deterioration as affected by climate change, land use change, and urban population growth to lead to strategies that can improve water quality at present and in the future.