You won’t miss your water, until the well runs dry

Water is not something we “value” on a daily basis unless we turn on the faucet and nothing drops out of it. Suddenly, we realize that having no water is not only inconvenient, but also life threatening. All our lives, water is abundant and we use it without limitations; but what if one day we wake up and find out that water is sold like gold, or rationed by the liter per household — or worse, that the well has already dried up?

These are not impossible scenarios as water is a finite resource. It doesn’t flow forever and based on scientific studies, water supply is getting lower by the year. It is inevitable in the future that nations would battle for this precious resource and we would just stand in regret for not saving water as early as today. Before it’s too late, we must do something not only to conserve it, but also to make sure that the next generation will have access to clean water.

Perhaps this is also the reason why the Marcos administration recently approved the creation of a Water Resource Management Office (WRMO) to “manage the country’s water resources” through a concerted government effort engaging various sectors, and “respond to the environmental changes.”

The WRMO, which will be under the DENR, will be a transitory body pending the creation of a Water Resources Department. Its main functions include “formulating and ensuring the implementation of the Integrated Water Management Plan (IWMP), which will integrate various plans of different agencies.”
The WRMO will also be tasked to champion, together with the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO), the passage of a law creating an apex body; collaborate closely with all relevant agencies, including LGUs, private sector, civil society, and the communities.

The President, according to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), said that the WRMO’s first action is to “reduce the country’s reliance on groundwater and deep wells, and managing surface water supply.”

“As far as I could tell, there’s enough water in the Philippines, but we’re just wasting it away,” the President was quoted as saying, noting that there is “mismanagement” of our country’s water supply.
The move of the President has gained support from Congress. For one, Senator Grace Poe has said that the WRMO’s creation is a “clear signal that a Department of Water Resources (DWR) needs to be established as soon as possible.”

"We expect that the formation of WMRO will pave the way for the establishment of a DWR that we have been advocating in the Senate," the chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services said. "The specter of water scarcity has always haunted us amid rising demand, climate change, population growth, among other factors, that necessitate immediate and comprehensive government response.”

It should be noted that the creation of a DWR is among the priority bills cited by the President in his State of the Nation Address. Currently, the measure is being discussed at the committee level in both houses.
Any effort by the government to save this precious resource must be supported. Water is crucial not only to our lives but to food security, economic survival, and agriculture growth. Indeed, water is life, so let’s not wait for an empty well before taking action because that time may already be too late.