Two water sensor-network systems in the towns of Pavia and San Miguel in Iloilo province in Visayas were inaugurated on January 27 that was led by Science Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña.
The Groundwater Management Plan Project aims to install telemetry sensors to monitor water quality and water levels in 22 wells.
It was spearheaded by the Ateneo de Manila University, in collaboration, and funded, by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) and the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCIEERD), that was classified under the Climate Change Infrastructure Program of the latter.
The groundwater reservoirs of the Philippines provide more than 50 percent of the potable water, and 85 percent of the piped water supplies in the country.
It is strategically, and economically, important for current and future water resources. It is the principal source during dry seasons, and is often used for potable supply.
However, certain challenges, like, increasing urban population and climate change affect the groundwater supply.
According to a study on Philippine water resource management by the Japan International Cooperation Agency Philippines and NWRB in 1998, Metro Manila, Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo City, and Zamboanga City were identified as water-critical areas.
The installation of these systems allows for the remote management of groundwater resources to improve the management capabilities of the NWRB.
The projects aim to establish and set-up a cost-effective, real-time automated monitoring system for NWRB groundwater monitoring wells in Metro Manila, Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo City and Zamboanga City.
Another project is the Philippine Groundwater Outlook, a three-year collaborative project under the Philippines-United Kingdom Newton Agham Joint S&T Cooperation Program on Understanding the Impacts of Hydrometeorological Hazards in the Philippines.
The project is lead by Andrew Barkwith, PhD from the British Geological Survey (BGS) and Ma. Aileen Leah G. Guzman, PhD.
“This initiative serves as the first step to effectively asess, conserve, manage, and monitor our groundwater reservoirs,” de la Peña said.
According to the copuntry’s Science chief, the project also supports the National Science and Technology Plan 2002-2020 for climate change and mitigation and adaptation, and disaster risk reduction, which emphasizes, among others, water resources assessment management for water security.
DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit said not too many scientists take on the challenge of monitoring groundwater resources.
He also emphasized that “groundwater should be protected and managed efficiently.”
DOST Region 6 Regional Director Engr. Rowen Gelonga was also present during the inauguration of the two water monitoring stations at Pavia National High School and at Pagsanga-an Elementary School.
Image credits: Enrico Belga Jr./S&T Media Service