President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Thursday said he wants to employ modern technology and stratagems in the management of water resources in the country to ensure ample water supply that meets the needs of the people.
The President said there are technologies available to efficiently manage the water resources in an area to provide people with clean and affordable water.
“I happened to – have been given the opportunity to walk around a little bit and see some of the exhibitors. And it is very gratifying to note that in fact the technologies that are being used, that are being employed in terms of water treatment, in terms of water management are well-known technologies,” President Marcos said in his speech during the opening of the 6th Edition of the Water Philippines Conference and Exposition at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
“And so I am very optimistic that the solutions that we need to formulate are out there, the technologies are out there. What has continued to change in the light of climate change is the management, the stratagems on how we manage our water,” the President said.
President Marcos said the flood control projects have evolved through the years along with the changing times.
“When we used to talk a few years ago, when I was still governor, when you said water management, it generally meant flood control. And we would put dikes, we would put dams so as to be able to control the flooding,” the President said.
“However, now, we must think in a very different way. Flood control, although many of the projects that the government has undertaken is categorized as flood control, these flood control projects no longer just are exclusively for that. We take the water and we use it for irrigation, we use it for drinking water if we have a treatment plant,” President Marcos explained as he noted that the water can be used to produce power with small hydroelectric plants.
The chief executive cited the experience of Israel where water supply is scarce but it has managed to use the same clean water several times for different purposes.
“I’d spent some time in Israel and I saw how they treat the water because water is very scarce. They live in the desert. Nevertheless, they are able to collect the water during the rainy season, whatever is available, they put fish in it to grow fish. When the summer comes, they take it out, take out the water, harvest the fish, and then that goes to irrigation and so forth,” President Marcos noted.
“These are the kinds of thinking that we have to apply to the Philippines because of the crisis that we are facing and how debilitating it will be to the entire economy, to the entire society if our water supply problem continues to get greater, continues to become more dependent on what we have been doing in the past,” the President pointed out.
President Marcos also acknowledged the importance of water in the agriculture sector, noting the impacts of water scarcity on food security.
“And so when they say water is life, it’s not just a cliché, it’s a truism. And it is something that we must always keep in mind especially now. And that’s why, we in the government – I just signed an executive order wherein we have created the Office of Water Management,” the President said.
In February, President Marcos approved the creation of a Water Resource Management Office (WRMO) to manage the country’s water resources and respond to the current environmental challenges.
The WRMO, which will be under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, will be a transitory body pending the creation of the Department of Water Resources.
Its main functions include formulating and ensuring the implementation of the Integrated Water Management Plan, which will integrate various plans of different agencies. #