Ateneo tapped for groundwater monitoring of water-critical areas
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) have tapped Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) to conduct smart groundwater monitoring of 10 “water-critical” cities in the country, including Metro Manila, Iloilo and Zamboanga.

With funding provided by the NWRB and the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development researchers from ADMU are tasked to establish a groundwater management plan and monitoring system for water-critical cities.

Under this project, monitoring wells and stations were built — four in Zamboanga City, four for Iloilo and 10 successfully installed in Metro Manila, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon. Another eight sensors will be installed in select areas nationwide within the year.

“Today marks a significant event as we officially present the locally developed cost-effective system for water wells monitoring here in IloIlo City, installed in Pavia National High School and in Barangay Consolacion, San Miguel. Through these facilities, automated and real-time monitoring of groundwater reservoirs consisting of various sensors, data logging, and telemetry equipment to measure water quantity and quality can be done,” Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said at the recent launch of the monitoring systems already installed in Iloilo City.

The data gathered from this monitoring system will serve as a decision-support tool for NWRB toward effective management of groundwater reservoir.

These data can also be accessed through the ThingSpeak mobile application and web portal, a platform service that uses Internet of Things (IoT) analytics to provide instant and advanced data analysis to bring daily effective management of groundwater reservoirs.

In line with the project, ADMU, in partnership with the North American Electric Reliability Corp. and DOST, conducted a two-day stakeholders’ workshop under the Philippine Groundwater Outlook (PhiGO) project, to strengthen partnership and gather local knowledge and understand the current issues and problems in managing water resources. 

The project is one of four funded under the Phl-UK Newton Agham Joint Cooperation Program.

The researchers behind PhiGO aim to deliver consistent, accessible and transferable assessments of climate and population change on regional groundwater resources.

Iloilo is one of nine key cities identified in 1998 by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in their study detailing the country’s water resources management. Though plagued with water constraints, these cities are envisioned to address such problems in the future.  

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