Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Limlingan: Water, water, nowhere

The Advocate

ONE time while I was browsing the internet, I chanced upon a meme that says "2018: Walang Bigas" and "2019: Walang Tubig". The one who made the meme was perhaps prompted by the lack of water in the faucets particularly in many parts of Metro Manila. The meme was associated with the scarcity of rice in the previous year and water for this year.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration has officially announced the onset of the dry season. This means that we are "officially" experiencing very hot weather in most parts of the country.

This is the time of the year that we have to bear sweltering heat in our environment and the easy drying up of almost everything that includes our faucets, starting in the country's capital region. The situation is worsening due to the declaration of the weather authority that we shall be experiencing El Niño or the long dry spell.

El Niño was a phenomenon previously foreign to us. Being a tropical country with abundant vegetation, we never experienced such before. We never experienced scarce water too even in Metro Manila. In the countryside, the deep well or the manual water pump (poso) were always dependable for clean and potable water.

We had a poso in our residence and it was the only clean water source for us. It never stopped supplying water whether during the rainy season or during summer. The water from our pump was even cool, clean and fresh from the underground source.

We may have not much body of water in Pampanga, but we have some ponds, rivers and streams that never dry up. They are even clean and viable for taking a dip, sans the trash like what they are filled today. Rivers are not silted and they are deep for us children then to take a dive.

Going back to the water shortage that many are experiencing today, this is an inconvenient occurrence since we use water everyday for washing, cooking, drinking and others. Definitely we need clean water for we cannot use water from any other source as this might lead to other problems.

For the environmentalists, the lack of water means the lack of trees. Trees act as natural sponge by storing water during the rainy season and discharge some during the dry season. This is an alarming issue that we have to seriously address. Logging in the country was never put to a halt and reforestation efforts are not enough.

Dams are one of the indicators of serious water shortage. These water reservoirs are very vital especially those that supplies water to Metro Manila. Their falling water level is a signal for the government to act immediately.

It is but fortunate for us in the provinces, that we can still enjoy adequate if not very abundant potable water source. Our situation however may change should El Niño would worsen and we may have much longer dry season.

As citizens, we may contribute a little to the water shortage problem in the country by saving what needs to be saved. Our small effort when done by many however, may contribute a lot if we shall be serious on doing it. We need to use water wisely and the time is now.


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