Collaborative modelling in the Philippines, Tacloban

Although the Philippines are endowed with plentiful water resources, the state is often described as a paradox of abundance and scarcity. Moreover, this situation is set to worsen with projections revealing that, with a low economic growth scenario, water shortages will occur in most regions. The government of the Philippines is therefore committed to improving current water resources management in order to guarantee water security for all.

The project, implemented from 2015 until 2016, aimed to support Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) planning and sustainable investments in river basins in the country by strengthening the capacity of national level institutions in planning for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

The project was implemented under the leadership of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) (through its IWRM Coordinating Team), in close partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its River Basin Control Office (RBCO), the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) under the Office of the President, the National Economic and Development Authority, the National Hydraulics Research Center (UP NHRC) and the National Engineering Center (NEC) of the University of the Philippines (UP).

Our challenge

Our challenge was to examine which is the most effective and efficient IWRM plan. A collaborative modelling approach was applied to a sample river basin (Tacloban River Basin) where common issues related to IWRM are present. People need access to clean water and sanitation facilities, they need water for economic purposes (agriculture, industry, etc.), there are environmental issues (water quality and erosion) and people need protection from flooding and drought.

identify relevant water issues Philippines

The collaborative modelling approach combined Group Model Building with the water security framework (AWDO). The Group Model Building process helped decision makers and stakeholders identify the most relevant water-related issues in the basin and understand their interactions, whilst the water security framework helped to create the links to the ambitions, goals and targets for the master plan. This approach also made use of Deltares’ Sustainable Delta serious game for adaptive planning under uncertainties.

Result of this partnership

The result of this partnership was a practical guide and planning tools which will support IWRM planning and sustainable investment, provide clear implementation plans, translate strategic plans into specific actions (what, who, how, financing) and create a consistent analysis framework to help the planners and stakeholders develop strategic IWRM plans.