Legarda calls for sustainable water management on World Water Day

March 22, 2023

In observance of World Water Day today, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda underscored the importance of developing sustainable water management and renewed her call for safeguarding the resilience of the country’s water resources as a global water crisis challenges the world.

“Water is life, and it affects everyone. As the theme for the observance of World Water Day this year implies, we must accelerate change. This means that we must increase our efforts to save our water resources and ensure a sufficient water supply for present and future generations,” Legarda stated.

Legarda is a known champion of the environment. She has been pushing for community and government initiatives to minimize the risk of the country’s water resources to run dry, such as reusing wastewater for irrigation, rehabilitation of watersheds through reforestation, and protection of mangrove soils.

She also emphasized the significance of every individual’s actions in saving water and protecting resources.

“Small changes can go a long way. Starting from our homes and workplaces, we can protect and save our water by changing how we use and consume it. There are a lot of simple and easy ways to conserve water, and we must stop disposing pollutants to our rivers,” Legarda said.

In 2004, Republic Act No. 9275, or the Philippine Clean Water Act, which Legarda authored, was enacted. The law aims to protect the country’s water bodies from pollution from land-based sources and by penalizing acts of polluting them. It also provides for establishing multi-sectoral governing boards that manage water quality in local river bodies and other water resources.

Legarda has urged the government, as well, to consider investing in blue carbon initiatives through the sustainable management of marine resources and marine-linked sectors, which are also vital for climate change adaptation along the coasts.

Last March 14, she filed Senate Bill No. 1993, or the Blue Economy Act, which seeks to adopt the blue economy as a framework for sustainable, safe use and development of marine wealth within the country’s Maritime Zones.

The proposed measure aims to protect and conserve the health and resilience of marine and coastal ecosystems and habitats to promote the well-being, prosperity, and security of present and future generations of Filipinos.

“The country’s coastal resources have always been a reliable source of water and food for many Filipinos. Thus, we need to invest in blue carbon initiatives that will help protect our coral reefs, seagrass beds, lush mangrove forests, and other coastal and marine sources,” Legarda said.

“Let us work together to restore the ecological integrity of our bodies of water,” she urged.

The World Meteorological Organization estimates that around 3.6 billion people worldwide struggle to have access to sufficient and clean water.

Co-hosted by the Netherlands and Tajikistan, leaders and stakeholders from countries around the globe are gathering this week in New York City, USA for the United Nation’s 2023 Water Conference.

The forum seeks better outcomes and solutions on all water-related challenges to fast-track the delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, specifically ensuring sustainable water management for all. (30)