El Niño prompts renewed call for rainwater harvesting PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 06 September 2015 14:31

An expert is urging people to harvest and store rainwater so they can partly meet their water needs despite onslaught of the drought-driving El Nino phenomenon.

People must consider harvesting rainwater for various tasks like watering plants and cleaning as El Nino will further affect water supply in the country, noted Dr. Sevillo David Jr., Executive Director of government’s lead water agency National Water Resources Board (NWRB).

“We’re urging people to use water wisely and see how else they can conserve this resource,” he said.

Rainwater harvesting is the age-old practice of collecting and storing rainwater.

Such harvesting can be as simple as either leaving empty containers under the rain or connecting these to downspouts so rainwater can be collected, noted authorities.

The environment department has been advocating rainwater harvesting to help conserve water nationwide.

David cited rainwater harvesting as State weather agency Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the country would still experience some rain despite El Nino.

Tropical cyclones (TCs) are among weather systems that can bring rain, noted PAGASA.

PAGASA forecast two to four TCs this September, two to three TCs in October, one to two TCs in November and zero to one TC each in December as well as January and February 2016.

NWRB also allows a household to draw from its well up to about 750 liters of water daily aside from encouraging people to harvest rainwater, noted the agency’s Deputy Executive Director Jorge Estioko.

Such quantity of water is enough for a household of about six people, he said.

He clarified the household must have government permission to draw water, however.

Earlier, PAGASA warned the “strong” El Nino that’s already in progress in the tropical Pacific could further intensify to a degree exceeding its 1997-1998 counterpart, which is the strongest on record so far.

El Nino-induced dry conditions could worsen and bring Metro Manila and Biliran province under severe drought by February 2016’s end, PAGASA also noted.

Angat Dam supplies water for irrigation, power production and Metro Manila’s needs.

To help ensure continuing water supply in Metro Manila amid El Nino, however, government already stopped releasing Angat water for irrigation.

Government also further reduced allocation of Angat water supply for Metro Manila.

The allocation for Angat this September is 38 cubic meters per second.

Authorities concerned set even lower Angat allocations for the rest of 2015 and early 2016.

They’ll review such target allocations and revise these in accordance with weather and El Nino developments.