“We never know the worth of water, till the well is dry. This is probably one of the most overused adages about water, understandably as it encapsulates the continuing challenge of water security and sustainability”, said Senator Loren Legarda in a World Water Day event.
According to Legarda, “water is a basic need yet it is a resource that we have taken for granted. Perhaps the seeming abundance of it creates a sense of complacency without realizing that of all the world’s water, only about 0.5% is suitable for human consumption.”
“In 2015, 91% of the world’s population had access to an improved drinking-water source, compared with 76% in 1990. About 4.2 billion people now get water through a piped connection; while 2.4 billion access water through other improved sources such as public taps, protected wells and boreholes”, the legislator added.
“However, at least 1.8 billion people around the world use a drinking-water source that is fecally contaminated. Moreover, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas by 2025”, the solon lamented.
Legarda shared that, “here in the Philippines, around eight million Filipinos still lack access to safe water and about the same number still practice open defecation.”
“While we try to address these problems, we are faced with new challenges. Water stress, amplified by climate change, will create a growing security challenge. In fact, the Philippines will likely experience severe water shortage by 2040 due to the combined impact of rapid population growth and climate change”, she warned.
“It is a priority of the government to create an Integrated Water Resource Management Framework as well as short-term, medium-term and long-term strategies and programs for the National Masterplan for Water”, she emphasized.
The foremost environmental advocate in Congress ended by declaring, “Today, on World Water Day, we are again reminded that we are the stewards of the Earth, not here to exploit, but to sustainably manage our natural resources. Just as it is our right to access clean water, it is also our responsibility to ensure that the well never runs dry.”