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Dept. of Water resources proposed

July 13, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 229 views

THE current water crisis calls for the creation of a separate department that manages and implements policies for the supply.

This is according to Albay Representative Joey Salceda as he pushed for the creation of the Department of Water Resources as soon as possible.

“Our water supply problems right now come in large part from our failure as a state to manage our water resources in a holistic and forward-looking manner. We’ve been in a water crisis for decades, and it took another President Marcos to call it what it is,” Salceda said, in response to ongoing water issues among service providers in Metro Manila.

“Our water systems are constructed with little regard for source development. We don’t collect enough surface water, and when we want to, we don’t know whom to talk to in government. We can only tighten our belts so much with demand management. The real issue is supply management, and we’ve been failing for decades,” he added.

The House of Representatives has already approved a version and is set to send copy to the Senate when session opens this month.

Salceda is the chair of the technical working group which drafted the House’s version of the DWR bill.

In the meantime, Salceda said, the country needs immediate solutions to ongoing water supply problems.

“Obviously, if we want to save on water, the demand management should focus on the biggest user. Irrigation accounts for at least 80 percent. Water use efficiency is also lowest in agriculture, with the sector yielding P15.61 per cubic meter used, while overall, the economy yields P192.4 pesos per cubic meter of water used,” he said.

“The most economic point-of-view here is simple: We need agriculture to be more efficient with water use. That’s the most immediate, effective, and economical demand management solution. So, we need to invest in more precise irrigation, so that we don’t waste all that water,” the solon added.