A milestone in Philippine Water history! Zamboanga City launches the country’s very first (probably the first in Asia) Water Security Master Plan today, June 23, 2022. Rapid population and economic growth exacerbated by the El Nino drought from 2017 to 2019 and driven by the need to search for new water sources, among others created the impetus for the LGU and Water Service Providers to come together and address the water crisis. Through the technical assistance of USAID SURGE project, the Zamboanga City Water Security Council (ZCWSC) was established through Executive Order BC-661-2021, which led to the crafting of the Zamboanga City Water Security Master Plan and its approval by the said council on November 18, 2021. It was endorsed by the ZCWSC to the City Legislative Council and was approved for adoption by the Sanggunian Panlungsod on May 17, 2022. The ZCWSMP provided for both short-term and long-term recommendations to improve and expand water supply and sanitation services in the city to secure future water supply needs. Present to give messages of support during the blended launch were Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar, Vice Mayor Rommel Agan, Lead Councilor Vincent Paul Elago, Zamboanga City Water District Chairperson James Makasiar, ZCWD General Manager Chito Vasquez, and Global Water Solutions, Inc. President and CEO Jay Tecson, who is a prime mover of water security planning in the Philippines. Former DILG Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento, representatives from the USAID CHANGE Project, and other National Government agencies like the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, OPDS of the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the National Water Resources Board were present to witness and lend support to the auspicious event. Pursuing innovative development projects has been the trademark of Zamboanga City and the Water Security Master Plan is a tremendous leap for Zamboanga City moving forward as highlighted by Mayor Beng. Congratulations Zamboanga City and to all those who were involved in this trail-blazing effort!