NEDA: Philippines needs more water-related projects

Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - April 21, 2016 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The government must now take a serious look at developing more water-related projects as water supply becomes more threatened by climate change, specifically the El Niño phenomenon.

Saying that El Niño is now a recurring phenomenon, Efren Carreon, regional director of National Economic and Development Authority in Central Visayas, said it is necessary that investing into water projects should be part of the government's plans.

"Water is very critical. There should be a more serious look at this," the official said in an interview.

Concerned agencies must develop more projects such as water impounding and water catchment facilities that help store rain water.

Carreon said households can also help in storing water by having big drums that would store rain water.

Commercial buildings should also maintain their water catchment facilities so that stored rain water can be used in the future.

El Niño's major threat on water supply could mean that both the government and private sector must put a priority on developing water projects, which would help mitigate the effects of climate change on water resources.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency  had proposed that a new dam be built in the Mananga watershed to avert potential water crisis in 2020. The new dam will be producing around 70,000 cubic meters per day.

JICA's roadmap study on the sustainable urban development in Metro Cebu also covers a sub-roadmap for water supply, storm water and wastewater management. 

The study projects the water supply demand in Metro Cebu to increase by 437,000 cubic meters per day to reach around 800,000 per cubic meters a day by 2050.

JICA said that this will require large investment in the development and improvement of existing water supply infrastructure.

In an previous interview, Tadashi Matsumoto, project manager at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said that water scarcity can be a major constraint for Cebu's economic development in the next years if the stable supply issue is not addressed.

He said water demand is expected to increase with the rising economic activity, fast population growth and growing industries in Cebu.

"It's a basic human need for the future development of the economy," he had said. (FREEMAN)

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