Sustained watershed protection needed to secure water supply, says MWSS
Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Administrator Reynaldo Velasco had stressed the urgent need to protect the country’s watersheds to secure water supply.
He said this as he called on all major stakeholders from both government and private sector to pool their resources together for enhanced watershed protection and management.
Citing a Philippine Development Plan data, Velasco said that the Philippines is blessed with abundant water resources with the country’s 421 principal and 18 major river basins and renewable water totaling 479 billion cubic meters from which water can be drawn for beneficial use.
“These water resource, however, are threatened with wanton disregard for environmental conservation and protection. Deforestation has greatly affected our country’s watersheds,” Velasco said.
He said that watersheds need trees in order to absorb rainwater which channels it into streams, rivers and eventually dams where human communities source fresh water.
The country, Velasco said, is faced with the sad reality that our forest cover decreased by 328,682 hectares from 7.2 million ha in 2003 to 6.8 million ha in 2010 which represents and annual forest cover loss of 46,954 ha.