Press Release
July 21, 2010

Deterioration of Our Forests Root Cause of Water Shortage - Loren

Sen. Loren Legarda said the root of our water crisis is the deterioration of the country's forest areas.

Legarda stressed that "Under nature's order of things, watershed areas store water for release into the water receptacles during the dry months, ensuring a continuity of water supply. Yet most of the proclaimed watershed areas have been classified as deteriorating or dying. We lose 1.4 per cent of our forest cover a year."

"Watershed reforestation must be given priority to augment the total water supply of the country."

"Watershed areas must be protected and rehabilitated."

Legarda also strongly recommends. "Special emphasis must be given to Small Water Impounding Projects which can provide water to areas that cannot be served by the local water districts. "

The Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Climate Change cited do-able individual and community water conservation efforts, "On the household level, we can easily adopt practices like gathering and storing rainwater for daily chores."

"In the community, water recycling facilities and rain collection systems can be built."

"New local sources of water can also be identified and utilized while existing local water distribution systems must be properly maintained.

Legarda who is also the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food lamented that the agricultural sector suffers the brunt of any shortage as water supply priority is given to municipal and industrial use.

"We are seeing the serious dangers of a prolonged drought. We should no longer ignore the symptoms of an ailing environment. There should be greater political and community action for more responsible water use and conservation," Legarda concluded.

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