Long term solution to water woes needed, says Paje
Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje has called for a long term solution to water woes in the Philippines, especially in Metro Manila.
Paje, who also serves as chairperson of the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change, said that alternative water sources for Metro Manila and other urban centers must be developed.
“Small water impounding dams or SWIDs must be established in strategic locations in order to benefit from gravity flow to cater to agriculture and small communities nationwide,” Paje said.
He also said that local government units (LGUs) must be assisted using existing technologies, including the geohazard and elevation maps developed using state of the Inteferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IfSAR), a state of the art technology recently acquired by the National Mapping and Research Information Authority (NAMRIA).
The inexpensive small water impounding dams have been long used by the DENR in assisting local agricultural communities in Munoz, Nueva Ecija and other upland areas in Mindanao. “The SWIDS can be the permanent solution as the availability of water during the dry season can significantly increase the production of agricultural crops for major urban centers such as Metro Manila,” he said.
The environment chief likewise raised the need to tap into state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facilities that can convert wastewater into drinking water as a solution to address urban centers’ over dependence on traditional sources of water, citing Metro Manila, which is dependent on Angat Dam for its domestic water supply.
“Availing of the state of the art waste water treatment facilities would allow us to tap accessible water sources such a Laguna Lake, Pasig River, and the like. Such facility will remove Metro Manila's dependence on its sole water source, particularly Angat Dam which has now reached a critical level,” Paje said.
As of 6 a.m. today (June 1), the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported Angat Dam’s water level at 178.45 meters, which is below the critical level of 180 meters. #