Press Release
June 25, 2006


Senator Edgardo J. Angara today emphasized the need for our country to improve its water management to sustain water supply especially in the wake of global warming.

Water is going to be a critical issue. In 20 years, water demand is expected to rise almost three-fold. As water resources are unevenly distributed throughout the country, we can soon expect water shortages in highly populated areas; unless we do something about it now, Angara said.

Angara noted that Metro Manila, home to 11 million people and among Southeast Asias largest cities, is one of the nine major cities identified as water-critical based from a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The other 8 cities are Metro Cebu, Davao, Baguio, Angeles, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga.

Cebu, for instance, is going to dry up in five years, unless Bohol allows its rivers to be diverted so that Mactan can be fed with fresh water, Angara said.

He added that Paranaque is already observing its groundwater salinizing, and that Bulacan is similarly under threat of having no irrigation.

Moreover, the acute seasonal problem of lack of access to potable water has large economic costs, as well as profound impact on the quality of life. Poor water quality affects our citizens health, lost agricultural production, threatens food security, and a host of other damaging consequences, he said.

Angara said that massive destruction of forested watersheds due to logging and firewood cutting, as well as uncontrolled land use, unplanned agricultural expansion and haphazard urbanization have contributed to water depletion.

Therefore, we must intensify our efforts, starting with bringing the task of managing water resources and regulating water use down to the provincial, city, town and barangay levels, Angara said.

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