Water Please

It should be crystal clear by now that the Philippines have so many problems when it comes to water.

First there is our current water shortage. The water level at Angat Dam just refuses to increase despite the cloud seeding efforts before and the almost daily rains now. In Mindanao, there are power outages daily which lasts for hours. Their electricity comes from hydropower plants which draw from Lake Lanao. Like Angat Dam, the water level of Lake Lanao is at the critical level. Critics of Climate Change can hee haw all they want but if this water shortage is not an evidence that Climate Change is real and that we are among the countries feeling the most brunt, I’ll eat my new hat.

Last year, we had Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng which practically submerged many parts of our country. We found out that a few hours of persistent rain, not even strong rain at that, can cause so much destruction and death. Our poor drainage system, trash, and bad urban planning may be the culprit but the hand of man is also stained with blood. We are lucky that despite it being La Nina season, we haven’t been visited by a strong typhoon yet. But another will come. The question is, are we now prepared?

Lastly, we have water pollution which just would not disappear because we don’t have the budget to clean up our rivers. We do not have the money to desilt from Rizal to Laguna which is what needs to be done in order for our water to flow out to the ocean. We do not have the money to relocate the riverside settlers who throw their garbage in our waters and obstruct the flow of the rivers. Money does not make the world go round but money can make the Philippines much cleaner.

I offer no solution because frankly, I could not think of any. I am at a loss. My brain, it is parched.

This is my entry for Blog Action Day 2010 which I posted on my other blog.

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.

  • Bert

    Water, water, water…everywhere.
    And not enough to spare!
    It’s raining everyday, and Angat Dam is drying
    What irony is this, is government sleeping?

  • Karen, Karen,
    slake your parched brain with a sip of cool Perrier. The water condition suffers from the same three bugaboos as most Filipino administrative responsibilities, from electricity to traffic to fighting terrorism.

    First, the Trade of Favors, which underlies corruption, sucks off the productive might and makes it puny. Second, people look back and react rather than forward and plan; water is an infrastructure that takes a long term plan broken down into annual achievements, not something that can be addressed through annual budgetary pork. Third, there is no discipline to the provision of water: no enforcement of rules that prevent waste and no fees to fund infrastructure development.

    The solutions are extraordinarily difficult, as they require as sharp a rejigging of Filipino values and practices as the US fought through to eradicate (minimize, at least) racism. End making decisions for personal rather than public good; look forward; act in a disciplined, common sense way.