Water is the natural resource that man and all other living creatures cannot do without. In fact, it is one thing scientists look for in other planets to confirm possible sources of life. For us humans, it is so important that in 1995, World Bank Vice President Ismail Serageldin said that “the wars of the next century would be fought over water” and not oil.
Unfortunately, water is also one resource that we always take for granted and end up wasting through inefficient use and pollution.
To make matters worse, what precious supply we have in our reservoirs and aquifers is now threatened by less rainfall as a result of the occurrence of a strong El Niño phenomenon which is expected to hit the Philippines by October 2015 until the first quarter of 2016. To ensure that there is enough for everyone’s needs, water distribution is already being interrupted or rationed in several parts of Metro Manila and surrounding areas.
A shortage in water supply not only leads to less water for us to use for our domestic needs, but also threatens food production and energy supply. Angat Dam in Bulacan, for example, provides almost 97% of Metro Manila’s domestic, municipal and industrial water requirements, as well as 27,000 hectares of rice farms in Bulacan and Pampanga. It is also utilized to generate 246 megawatts of electricity.
It is therefore important for each of us to do what we can to ensure that we do not deplete this supply. By learning to use water prudently and efficiently, not only during El Niño but as part of our lifestyle,
• we save up on water expenses;
• we show generosity in ensuring that everyone gets a fair share of the supply; and
• we learn to consider water as a precious resource.
As Environment Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje has said: “Make water conservation a habit, and adopt a lifestyle that would have less negative impact on our precious water supply.”
® Public Affairs Office