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EDITORIAL: The Irony of El Nino

When we talk about the El Niño water supply problem comes to our mind. The irony is here because we are surrounded by water, we have plenty of watersheds and dams, and yet we have a problem with the water supply. What happened? It is easy to blame climate change as the inevitable cause.

But if we want to address our water problem it is important to analyze the specific need, which there are many:

1. Drinking water?

2. Potable water?

3. Water for house use?

4. Water for equipment maintenance?

5. Water for commercial establishments?

6. Water for health services?

7. Water for sports and entertainment use?

8. Water for irrigation?

9. Water for transportation?

10. Water for sewerage system?

When talking about water we have to depend on expert studies and reports. “El Niño is a climate pattern that occurs when sea surface temperatures over the Central and Eastern Pacific Oceans warm up and affect air and sea currents. It increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, potentially causing dry spells, droughts, and other adverse environmental effects”.

El Niño has been experienced in the Philippines once every five years. PAGASA’s record has it that during the past two decades, the Philippines has experienced an average rainfall decrease of 23% across our three islands. This year PAGASA has raised the El Niño Alert status from 55% to 80% probability between June and August which may continue until March 2024.

Water issues are directly linked to climate change. Hence local government units, concessioners, and commercial distributors can be monitored and regulated. We can effectively join global partner influence and benefit from global resources that can be mobilized for a common agenda.

If our policy-makers would only use analytical skills and focus on specific problem areas among the various uses of water they can easily prepare or amend existing legislations, guidelines, and push effective advocacy programs other than useless analysis, debates and un-implementable ideas on the water issues.

We need innovative and strategic ideas in water production and distribution systems with improved, and appropriate intervention tools that can be utilized.


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