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“…With public and private financing in hand, PPCWD focused on expanding its water supply, turning away from relying on rapidly depleting groundwater sources to pumping and treating water from river sources.

This proved a major turning point for the water district. Now, the utility could expand services to more people in Puerto Princesa, including vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations, and to hotels and businesses to support the island’s thriving tourism industry. At the same time, the water district, with USAID support, worked to reduce water losses and improve staff capacity.

“With this additional water source, we were able to increase our service coverage to more than 90 percent, not just those living in the city but also those in far-flung barangays, too,” says Walter. “By improving operations, we were also able to keep things affordable for our customers.”

Beyond institutional partnerships, the commitment of local leaders like Walter Laurel of the Water District is also instrumental in realizing shared water and sanitation objectives. Reflecting on the progress made in Puerto Princesa since he began working for the District, he shares: “With increased water access in Puerto Princesa, more businesses are opening, households are saving more money, and the health of communities is improving.”

Click the photo to read more about Global Waters’ special feature on the Puerto Princesa City Water District: