MABALACAT CITY -- Senator Loren Legarda said that one way to start a low carbon lifestyle is to undertake water conservation initiatives.
Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on Climate Change, stressed the importance of water management in the battle against climate change and the devastating impact of depleting water resource.
“There is an urgent need to reduce water consumption, especially amid the worsening drought caused by El Niño. The country has already lost more than P4.7 billion worth of crops due to the weather phenomenon since February last year and Filipino farmers have been badly affected. We need to prevent further damage to the agriculture sector by conserving water, one of our most precious resources,” Legarda said.
Three provinces in Central Luzon -- Pampanga, Bulacan and Tarlac -- are expected to be affected by the drought this year.
She also encouraged the public to adopt water conservation practices in their homes like gathering and storing rainwater for daily chores. “By simply turning off faucets properly and by repairing household water leaks, we can reduce water loss as studies show that a faucet leaking 60 drops per minute will waste 192 gallons per month or 2,304 gallons per year.”
In the community, the senator added, water recycling facilities and rain collection systems can be built. “Existing local water distribution systems must be properly maintained and watershed areas must be protected and rehabilitated.”
According to the Carbon Trust, global water use is predicted to increase dramatically by 2030 to a level far exceeding current freshwater availability. “Climate change and pollution have already been affecting our useable water supply and this was recognized at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development with UN-Water issuing a statement that the success of green economy depends on sustainable, integrated and resource-efficient management of water resources.”
Legarda, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, has included special provisions on water management under the 2016 General Appropriations Act (GAA).
A provision introduced by Legarda requires the installation of rainwater collection system (RWCS), an adaptation measure to combat climate change and to ensure sufficient water supply. The implementation of RWCS should be in compliance to R.A. No. 6716 of 1989. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) shall prescribe the design of the RWCS which shall be installed within the premises of public markets which have no existing water supply, or when source of water is limited or scarce, in areas considered as waterless barangays and municipalities, and school sites upon request of the school head/principal of the concerned school.
The Department of Education is also mandated to require public schools to install rainwater collection systems to promote the efficient use of water resources. The RWCS shall conform to the prototypes prescribed by the DPWH.