Press Release
July 23, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara expressed alarm over the water shortage in many parts of Metro Manila, caused by a severely depleted Angat Dam which currently experiences its lowest water level in history. He emphasized the need to invest more on water infrastructure and implement practicable local government measures like rainwater collection.

"It seems ironic that while we experience continuing rains, our water supply continues to dwindle. The solution to our water problem is not instant or cursory. It requires extensive changes in the way we manage our country's resources and how we consume them," said Angara who chairs the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

The Asian Development Bank warned back in 2007, the Philippine's clean water supply could be depleted by 2025 if we do not start cleaning up our act and invest more in water management and infrastructure. Manila, home to 12 million people, is one of nine major cities identified as "water critical". The other eight are Metro Cebu, Davao, Baguio, Angeles, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga.

"There s a twenty year old law that mandates the collection of rainwater in barangays to ensure the provision of fresh water. This covers the entire process, from catchment, to treatment and distribution. They do this in India, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, and it has proven quite effective. Why shouldn't we implement the same, especially since we get an abundance of rain?" he said.

Angara added, "Today, technology evolves at its fastest rate in human history, and through innovation, technology now offers solutions to relieve water stress or the overuse of water that leads to the deterioration of both quantity and quality of water available and making water use more sustainable."

Angara shared that United States allocated US$16 billion for water-related projects in its stimulus package. IBM ventured into the global water solutions market, estimated to reach US$ 20 billion in five years. They are expecting the demand to remain strong, given that most economies battling the global economic slowdown packaged their respective economic stimuli with water programs and infrastructure investments.

"Our ailing water management and infrastructure system needs to be urgently reviewed and revamped. Every minute of inaction prolongs and compounds the problem of overexploitation and unsustainable use of water, a vital but increasingly limited resource," said Angara who called for advanced research in water management and solve the prevailing problem.

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