CAGAYAN DE CITY (PIA)–The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) outlined some of its programs to protect watersheds and address water insecurity in the country.
During the Northern Mindanao Integrated Water Security Summit, DENR Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Mindanao Arleigh Adorable underlined that watersheds not only determine the quantity and quality of water but also play a major role in sustaining the country’s life support systems as well as in the reduction of poverty in the countryside.
“Most of the watersheds in the Philippines are tapped as sources of water for domestic irrigation and industrial purposes, including hydroelectric and geothermal power generation. In fact, the country’s estimated water supply is 975 million cubic meters per day, while the water demand is 310 million cubic meters per day, primarily from surface water,” he said.
To preserve and protect watersheds, Adorable said DENR is enforcing the expanded national greening program, which aims to rehabilitate degraded forest areas. The program also enhances biodiversity, reduces the impact of climate change, and improves the economic status of communities.
Key stakeholders in Northern Mindanao discuss the water challenges in the region and find ways to address them. (DCC/PIA-10)
Adorable said DENR also has a forest protection and anti-illegal logging program that addresses illegal logging activities that can lead to deforestation. “Some great innovations under the program are the LAWIN forest and biodiversity protection system, which integrates a science-based assessment and user-friendly monitoring methods for forest health conditions,” he said.
Moreover, the environmental department also implements soil and water conservation measures that involve the construction of small water impounding systems, spring development, and small farm reservoirs.
The assistant secretary further disclosed that DENR supervises the Water Resource Management Office created under Executive Order No. 22 of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to beef up water resource management efforts.
The said office integrates and harmonizes all government efforts that will manage the country’s water resources and ensure the availability of water.
Adorable stated that WRMO aims to address the challenges that affect the management of water resources, including the increasing demand due to population and economic growth, the impacts of climate change and the pandemic, and the lack of adequate infrastructure leading to an uneven distribution of water resources, among others. (APB/PIA-10)