Fire and water



Jullie Y. Daza Jullie Y. Daza

Water shortage last year.

Water shortage this year.

Water shortage next year.

And now it’s Fire Prevention Month, or what passes for it. Firemen complain of fire hydrants without water, broken-down hydrants with parts missing, neighborhoods so congested they not only have no water, there’s no space for fire trucks to pass through. In Barangay Mapulang Lupa, Valenzuela City a few days ago, there was no lack of water – gallons by the second were gushing out of a busted pipe of Maynilad Water.

What else is new?

Oh, there’s the Secretary of the Environment assuring the President and the people we will have “enough water supply this year.” (I don’t care for supply as long as I have water!) The next day, the National No-Resources No-Water Board reminded one and all, not in so many words, that a shortage is as certain as their board of directors not being inspired to source water. Save and conserve, they said, as if every one of their audience had water-logged eardrums.

The difference between last year’s shortage and this year’s is zero. Have hydraulic engineers replaced the dime-a-dozen lawyers in MWSS and NWRB as noted by Sen. Grace Poe? Our planet and our bodies are composed of 75 percent water, and our beautiful archipelago of 7,000-plus islands is surrounded by water. Yet there’s never enough water, never enough rain to fill the reservoirs or too much of it flooding our farms and cities.

We have not heard NWRB disclosing any actionable plan to mitigate those seasonal, perennially inconvenient shortages.

Should they hire a water diviner as consultant? If he’s any good, make him executive director; if very good, let him replace the entire board. Or, pay professional mourners from Chinatown to chant for tears to fall from heaven? Organize Luzon-wide prayer groups with CBCP for a more intensely recitable oratio imperata? Lastly, advise against inflaming Prometheus with the observance of another fiery Fire Prevention Month?