MANILA, Philippines – As the water shortage in Metro Manila and nearby areas drags on, a bill was filed in the Senate seeking the management of rainwater for various uses.
Senator Francis Pangilinan’s Senate Bill No. 36 aims to establish the “management, control, regulation, and utilization of rainwater runoff,” and to improve catchments “to address flooding and water supply needs.”
“It is the objective of this bill to conserve rainwater as well as reduce its runoff,” Pangilinan said in a statement on Sunday, July 7.
What would rainwater be used for? Under the bill, rainwater would be used for:
- rural irrigation
- urban irrigation such as yard irrigation
- groundwater discharge
- watering of plants, washing of cars, toilet flushing, fishponds
- ecological requirements
How would it be implemented? Pangilinan proposes that all land owners or developers – whether residential, commercial, or industrial – submit a Rainwater Management Plan (RWP).
The RWP would cover the following:
- topographic map of the area
- location of natural waterways including banks and streams
- normal shoreline, coastlines, natural depression of flows
- discharge and volume of flows
The RWP would also include a proposed Rainwater Management System, for the following purposes:
- study the flood density in areas
- manage rainwater runoff onsite and offsite
- provide a facility to regulate the increased rainwater runoff
Under the bill, the Department of Public Works and Highways would also prepare a Rainwater Design Manual. It would then be up to city or municipal engineers to inspect rainwater management facilities in their area. (READ: [OPINION] Thirsting for water: The challenge for the Philippines)
Parts of Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, and Bulacan have been affected by a water shortage, some since early March 2019. (WATCH: EXPLAINER: It’s the rainy season, but why does the water shortage continue?)
Daily water interruptions are expected to continue until the Angat Dam goes back up to its minimum operating water level, possibly by August or September. (READ: Manila Water, Maynilad to still get limited supply from Angat Dam) – Rappler.com