Wa­ter, wa­ter, nowhere

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! -

One time while I am brows­ing the in­ter­net, I chanced upon a meme that says— “2018: Walang Bi­gas”, “2019: Walang Tu­big”. The one who made the per­haps was per­haps prompted by the lack of wa­ter in the faucets par­tic­u­larly in many parts of Metro Manila. The meme was as­so­ci­ated with the scarcity of rice in the pre­vi­ous year and wa­ter for this year.

The Philip­pine At­mo­spheric Geo­phys­i­cal and Astro­nom­i­cal Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion has of­fi­cially an­nounced the on­set of the sum­mer sea­son. This means that we are “of­fi­cially” ex­pe­ri­enc­ing very hot weather in most parts of the coun­try.

This is the time of the year that we have to bear swel­ter­ing heat in our en­vi­ron­ment and the easy dry­ing up of al­most ev­ery­thing that in­cludes our faucets, start­ing at the coun­try’s cap­i­tal re­gion. The sit­u­a­tion is wors­en­ing due to the dec­la­ra­tion of the weather au­thor­ity that we shall be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing El Nino or the long dry spell.

El Nino was a phe­nom­e­non pre­vi­ously for­eign to us. Be­ing a trop­i­cal coun­try with abun­dant veg­e­ta­tion, we never ex­pe­ri­ence such be­fore. We never ex­pe­ri­enced scarce wa­ter too even in Metro Manila. In the coun­try­side, the deep well or the man­ual wa­ter pump (poso) were al­ways de­pend­able for clean and potable wa­ter.

We had a poso in our res­i­dence and it is the only clean wa­ter source for us. It never stopped from sup­ply­ing wa­ter whether dur­ing the rainy sea­son or dur­ing sum­mer. The wa­ter from our pump is even cool, clean and fresh from the un­der­ground source.

We may have not much body of wa­ter in Pam­panga, but we have some ponds, rivers and streams that never dry up. They are even clean and vi­able for tak­ing a dip, sans the trash like what they are filled to­day. Rivers are not silted and they are deep for us chil­dren then to take a dive.

Go­ing back to the wa­ter short­age that many are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing to­day, this is an in­con­ve­nient oc­cur­rence since we use wa­ter ev­ery­day for wash­ing, cook­ing, drink­ing and oth­ers. Def­i­nitely we need clean wa­ter for we can­not use wa­ter from any other source as this might lead to other prob­lems.

For the en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists, the lack of wa­ter means the lack of trees. Trees act as nat­u­ral sponge by stor­ing wa­ter dur­ing the rainy sea­son and dis­charge some dur­ing the dry sea­son. This is an alarm­ing is­sue that we have to se­ri­ously ad­dress. Log­ging in the coun­try was never put to a halt and re­for­esta­tion ef­forts are not enough.

Dams are one of the in­di­ca­tors of se­ri­ous wa­ter short­age. These wa­ter reser­voirs are very vi­tal es­pe­cially those that sup­plies wa­ter to Metro Manila. Their fall­ing wa­ter level is a sig­nal for the gov­ern­ment to act im­me­di­ately.

It is but for­tu­nate for us in the prov­inces, that we can still en­joy ad­e­quate if not very abun­dant potable wa­ter source. Our sit­u­a­tion how­ever may change should El Nino would worsen and we may have much longer dry sea­son.

As cit­i­zens, we may con­trib­ute a lit­tle to the wa­ter short­age prob­lem in the coun­try by sav­ing what needs to be saved. Our small ef­fort when done by many how­ever, may con­trib­ute a lot if we shall be se­ri­ous on do­ing it. We need to use wa­ter wisely and the time is now.

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