The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will bring together the country’s water and power sectors to raise public awareness on the close link between water and energy consumption as the nation joins the rest of the world in celebrating World Water Day (WWD) on March 22.DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said this year’s celebration, which has a local theme “Water is Power,” will focus on the growing awareness that saving water may be one of the most effective ways to save energy – and vice versa. “We wish to highlight the important link between water and power, and how they are highly dependent on each other,” Paje said, noting that producing energy uses water, and providing freshwater uses energy. He said both processes face growing limits and problems.
He added: “In fact, much of our generated power relies on water, while many Filipinos rely on electrical power for domestic water supply.”Paje said that aside from providing Filipinos access to clean water and electricity, “the efficient use of both water and power is also an urgent issue the government is trying to address.”According to statistics, about 17 million people in the Philippines have no access to safe drinking water and over 15 million still have no access to electricity.To mark WWD 2014, the DENR, its attached agencies and partners have prepared a week-long program from March 17-22.
On March 17, a kick-off event will be held at the Angat Hydroelectric Power Plant in Norzagaray, Bulacan. Expected to attend are Paje, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and National Power Corp. (NPC) president Ma. Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita.These officials, along with other representatives from NPC, National Irrigation Authority, Metropolitan Manila Water Sewerage System, and water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water, will be treated to a “Water Energy Tour Nexus” of the Angat, Ipo and La Mesa dams.
On March 18, the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) will hold a day-long World Water Day Exhibit at the Activity Center of the Glorietta 2 in Makati City. At 5 p.m. on that day, there will be a free four-hour concert that will feature pop and alternative rock artists to draw attention to current efforts to revive Manila Bay, and major rivers and creeks in Metro Manila.On March 19, the EMB will hold an on-the-spot poster-making contest for elementary and high school students at the SM North EDSA, while their teachers undergo a Water Education workshop at the Air Quality Training Center inside the DENR compound in Quezon City.
On the same day, employees of the Laguna Lake Development Authority will lead tree-planting activities in Antipolo City and Taytay, Rizal. They will also hold a river clean-up in the nearby towns of San Mateo and Rodriguez the following day.The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, led by its chairperson Gina Lopez, will conduct an “estero tour” featuring the rehabilitated Estero de Aviles in San Miguel, Manila on March 20.
Employees of the DENR and Maynilad will hold a “Plant for Life” mangrove tree-planting activity along Cavite shores on March 18 in Bacoor and March 20 in Kawit.The DENR will also host “Water is Power” lecture series in selected schools in Pateros and the cities of Quezon, Marikina, Pasig, San Juan, and Taguig from March 18 to 20.All activities will culminate on March 21 at the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia, where a two-kilometer walk will be held outside to raise awareness on various water-related issues.The celebration of March 22 as “World Day for Water” was declared in 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly. This year’s international theme is “Water and Energy.”