NWRB holds National Water Security Roadmap Symposium
The National Water Resources Board (NWRB), in partnership with the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), presented the results of the National Water Security Roadmap in a symposium held on March 21, 2022 via Zoom.
Engr. Susan P. Abano, NWRB Policy and Program Division Chief, presented the outputs of the roadmap stating that it is is anchored in five (5) water linkages namely: 1) economic water security, 2) environment for water security, 3) urban water security, 4) water security for rural household, 5) resiliency for water security.
Further, she mentioned that the roadmap aims to provide steps and actions overcoming challenges including 1) meeting industrial, commercial, and institutional water demand; 2) restoration of groundwater, surface water (including river, lakes, estuaries, etc.) and ecosystem, and ensuring enough water for the existing ecosystem; 3) meeting the water demand in urban centers, towns, and cities with clean, safe and affordable water, addressing urban wastewater, and addressing drainage & flood related issues; 4) meeting water demand in rural areas with clean, safe, and affordable water; 5) To build the capability to withstand disasters and to rebuild immediately after the disasters; and withstand the impact of climate change.
Short, medium and long-term plans were proposed to ensure water security in the future. Some of the action plans are already being implemented by NWRB, hence it should be continued, extended or expanded to other areas of the country while others will require more work to implement including finding budget and/or personnel to accomplish them and collaborating with other agencies.
During the open forum, several questions were raised by the members of the audience regarding policy and regulatory reforms in the water sector, water resources management and reforming water administration, among others. Specific inquiries on the approval of the Department of Water as response to the longstanding issue on fragmentation in the water sector was also one of the major highlighted queries.
In his closing remarks, NWRB Executive Director Dr. Sevillo D. David Jr. stated that the presented roadmap is just a guide towards the goal of national water security and that the real work will just begin.
“We have already laid the foundation towards water sustainability. It is upon all of us - the national government, the private institutions, the young and old – to get things moving and ultimately reach our aim.” Dr. David said.
The formulation of the National Water Security Roadmap started in 2016 with several consultations and focus group discussions in different parts of the country. It is led by the NWRB and the NEDA, in collaboration with different government and private institutions.