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Loren seeks intensified watersheds protection

January 25, 2010

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – SEN. LOREN LEGARDA DEFENDED HERSELF YESTERDAY OVER CRITICISMS THAT SHE IS A POLITICAL TURNCOAT FOR SHIFTING LOYALTIES FROM ONE POLITICAL PARTY TO ANOTHER.
“Government must pursue urgent measures, including comprehensive watershed management, enhancement of irrigation efficiency, introduction of low water use crops and efficient farming practices, recycling of water and improvement of monitoring and forecasting systems for floods and droughts,” she said.
The country has 412 principal river basins in 119 proclaimed watersheds, a total of 99 lakes, 16 of which have an area more than 400 hectares, and groundwater reservoirs that cover 50,000 square kilometers and have a storage capacity of 251,100 million cubic meters.
But this abundance of water resources masks a potential water crisis. Legarda said. Today, the Philippines ranks among the lowest in terms of freshwater availability per capita at 1,907 cubic meters, compared with the average of 7,045 cubic meters worldwide and 3,668 cubic meters in Asia. Four regions— Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Southern Luzon and Central Visayas – face the dire prospect of decreasing water quality and quantity. Angat Dam is the sole source of Metro Manila’s water supply.
Source: Manila Bulletin