The National Convergence Initiative for Sustainable Rural Development (NCI-SRD) recently conducted a workshop to develop an action plan for the implementation of water harvesting facility projects and the adoption of Cistern Technology System which is commonly used in areas where water is scarce.

In the workshop, NCI-SRD national focal person Silvino Tejada explained how climate change and the rapid population growth have greatly contributed to having limited access to clean and potable water to drink.

Tejada also emphasized that our water resources are being consumed excessively and contaminated at a fast pace due to improper management.

He added, necessary actions have been undertaken by concerned government agencies to combat the possible impacts of El Niño and water shortage, along with initiatives to develop and implement modern water saving/harvesting technology in different identified convergence sites.

“Effective management of water resources has taken its place among our priorities and the sustainable use of limited fresh water resources has become vital. Now that our food security is at stake because of the different predicaments that basically concerns all of us, this is a perfect time for us to actively involve ourselves and fight as one the challenge that confronts the country,” Tejada said.

The adoption of the Cistern Technology System, according to Tejada, is due to water stress that the country might face to the coming years so, as early as now, actions are being executed.

According to a study conducted by the World Resources Institute (WRI), the Philippines will experience a “high” degree of water shortage in the year 2040 and emphasized that agriculture, one of the major components of the country’s economic security, will be greatly affected by the water shortage.

The formation of a technical working group that will further formulate strategies of better management of agricultural waters for sustainable agriculture and as one advent of ensuring countryside development, poverty reduction and climate change mitigation is also being planned.

Water harvesting facility projects is one way of bracing the impacts of strong El Niño which is projected to last until the first quarter of 2016.

Prolonged drought is expected to further affect agricultural production. (Loraine D. Cerillo, DA-BSWM/ Ian Go, DA-OSEC)