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A Win-Win Water Management Approach in the Philippines


A Win-Win Water Management Approach in the Philippines Towards A Watershed-Based Water Resources Management The Myth The annual water use accounts for only 12% of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A Win-Win Water Management Approach in the Philippines

A Win-Win Water Management Approach in the
  • Towards A Watershed-Based Water Resources

The Myth
  • The annual water use accounts for only 12 of
    available supply in the Philippines
  • This figure tends to suggest that the need to
    manage water use and conserve water resources is
    not a pressing concern

The Reality
  • Declining per capita water availability
  • The data on aggregate availability indicate only
    the average supply per capita per year, without
    regard to the distribution of available supply
  • The Philippine freshwater ecosystem faces severe
    problems of pollution
  • The costs of supplying potable water are rising

Causes of Water Scarcity
  • Water availability limitations
  • Depletion of groundwater resources
  • Degradation of freshwater sources
  • The increasing cost of new water source

Addressing Water Scarcity Problem
  • Managing water supply
  • Managing water demand
  • Establishing supportive social, legal, and
    institutional support for effective water
    management system

Key Requirements
  • A holistic analysis of the water supply situation
  • Look at the water issue in an ecosystem
    settingspecifically that of a watershed unit
  • Treat water as an economic good
  • Allow markets to allocate water to competing
    uses, while recognizing the role of the
    government to protect the interest of targeted
    social groups in society
  • Social, legal, and institutional support systems

Why a Watershed Approach to Water Resources
  • Environmental impacts of land-use activities,
    water uses and other upland disturbances can
    readily be examined within the watershed context
  • The watershed approach has strong economic logic
  • Many of the externalities involved with
    alternative land management practices affecting
    water supply and quality are internalized when
    the watershed is managed as a unit
  • The watershed provides a framework for analyzing
    the effects of human interactions with the
  • The environmental impacts within the watershed
    operate as a feed back loop for changes in the
    social system

Failure to Implement a Watershed Approach
  • Watershed management has long been an element of
    natural resources planning and management by the
    DENR in the country
  • However, this approach has been largely limited
    to the upper watersheds where the forests lie
  • The link between the upper watershed and the
    downstream water resources has not really been
    tackled in the context of a watershed unit

The main problems in the water governance sector
  • The failure to implement the laws governing
    watershed approach
  • The absence of institutional mechanisms to
    operationalize said approach
  • The lack of appreciation of water as an economic
    goodhence, the inability to allow market-based
    mechanisms to function
  • The lack of mechanisms that will integrate water
    and watershed plans and programs of various

Multiplicity of Water Agencies
  • Weaken efforts to manage the water resources and
    their ecosystems and watersheds
  • Coordination is not easy since these agencies
    belong to different executive departments
  • This is not supportive of a holistic approach to
    water resources management

Lack of Legal Basis (Prior to the Clean Water Act)
  • Different agencies with separately vested powers
    over water and watershed management
  • There was no institutional leader that has the
    overbearing power and budget to govern water
    resources management in the country
  • Gaps in policies and coordination at the national
    level constrain the full implementation of the
    watershed approach in natural resource management

Problems at the Local Level
  • Local water districts have no direct jurisdiction
    over the watersheds supporting their water supply
  • The Local Government Code of 1991 stipulates that
    LGUs should be responsible in protecting
  • But this Code is also not yet put into full
    swingsince, control over the countrys natural
    resources is still taken over by the DENR

Some Initial Steps Towards Cooperation
  • The DENR has launched several initiatives (e.g.
    ECOGOVERNANCE Project, GOLD project) to train LGU
    in natural resource management
  • Some watersheds are now managed by LGU under
    co-management agreements with the DENR
  • Certain watersheds are also under the control of
    a number of agencies who are dependent on
    watershed resources such as NAPOCOR and NIA
  • The IPRA states that indigenous communities are
    to be administrators of the country's watersheds
    within their domains

Elements of a Watershed-Based Water Resource
  • A biophysical frameworka watershed-based water
    resource management strategy
  • A legal-institutional frameworkto provide the
    legal basis and supporting institutions to
    implement the proposed water resource management
  • An economic frameworkled by economic efficiency
  • A socio-political frameworkdefined by the need
    to have wide support from local communities and
    political/government units

(No Transcript)
Watershed-Based Water Resources Planning
  • The current water policy paradigm in the
    Philippines is for a river basin water resource
  • This paradigm is consistent with the watershed
  • But the river basin as a planning unit is too big
    to be manageable
  • What is needed is to define a watershed unit that
    a given group of administrative units could
    manage together in a co-management scheme

Legal and Institutional Framework
  • What is needed is an institutional body that will
    govern the watershed unitfor its water resources
    and other environmental services
  • Since the watershed transcends administrative
    unitthe need to have watershed council or
    authority seems to be the move in the right
    direction to bring about a truly watershed-based
    water resource planning and implementation

Economic Efficiency and Water Policy
  • Allow water to flow where their value in use is
  • Charge water price at full cost and define
    clearly the property rights to water use/access
  • Increase the efficiency of water use by
    introducing market-based instruments
  • Examples of said instruments are water charges,
    water markets, and imposing effluent charges
  • These instruments could play an important role in
    stimulating efficient use of water in the country

Local Community Support and Strong Local
Government Commitment
  • Obtain wide support from the local community vis
    à vis the local governments and civil societies
    in water management
  • The local communities are the frontline consumers
    of environmental good and bad resulting from
    water resource rehabilitation or degradation
  • It is in their best interest to be directly
    involved in how this resource is to be managed
  • They should be made partners in such an endeavor
    and must received training to enhance their
    capacity to perform this role

The Clean Water Act of 2004
  • Recognizes the participation of LGUs in the
    management and improvement of water quality in
    their respective jurisdictions
  • Provides for citizen action in pursuing suits
    against violators of the bills provisions as
    well as in the conduct of information and
    education campaign
  • Does not propose for the creation of a new water
    body instead, it assigns the lead function to
    the DENR
  • Implementing rules and regulations can be crafted
    to clearly provide for the implementation of a
    watershed-based approach

Proposed Policy Statements in the IRR
  • To adopt an integrated, holistic approach in
    addressing the inherently interrelated issues of
    water supply planning and operation, demand
    management, pollution control, and watershed and
    ground water protection
  • To manage water not only as a social good but
    more importantly as an economic good. As such,
    water becomes a commodity that is assessed for
    its scarcity value and whose distribution exists
    in the context of market processes, even as it is
    balanced by the view that water is a basic need

Proposed Policy Statements in the IRR
  • To adopt a water-pricing policy that covers the
    full economic cost of water production and
    distribution, by taking into account the
    opportunity cost of water where there are
    competing users, and the cost of externalities or
    negative environmental impacts
  • To uphold the principles associated with a
    watershed-based approach by considering the
    watershed as the basic unit in managing the water
    resources of the country

Proposed Administrative Mechanisms to Implement
the Strategies
  • Emphasize that this should be operationalized
    along watershed boundaries or river basins
  • There should be support for the
    institutionalization of local water bodies such
    as River-basin or Watershed-based Authorities,
    following the LLDA model
  • The Governing Boards should be supported by a
    technical secretariat which include an expert in
    Watershed Management

Proposed Financial Mechanisms
  • Use market-based instruments in assessing the
    true value of water that would be levied on
    users, as well as water-related services or
  • May include raising water tariffs and imposing
    sewerage charges and effluent taxes.
  • A socialized system for water-use fees can be
    adopted to balance the market-based value with
    the social nature of water as a public good.
  • Set a threshold value below which water is
    provided free of charge, then above which water
    use is progressively valued

Proposed Financial Mechanisms
  • Insure that a big portion of the water use fees
    should be used for Watershed Rehabilitation and
    other restorative mechanisms (e.g. reforestation,
    vegetative and engineering measures to
    control/minimize erosion and siltation) to
    enhance the quality of water discharged from
    natural sources.
  • This amount should be clearly itemized, and
    earmarked in the relevant budget allocation

Proposed Action at the Local Level
  • LGUs (Province, City, Municipality, Barangay)
    should also be empowered to establish
    regional/local bodies such as water councils and
    river basin authorities
  • These bodies do not necessarily require national
    level legislation but may require inter-LGU
    legislative action, particularly when watersheds
    cover different municipalities/cities from
    different provinces
  • These bodies may vary in character, charter, or
    nature. In fact, some of them may even be in the
    nature of cooperatives or NGO networks, or

Enabling Role of National Bodies
  • To support this local level action, the job of
    the DENR should include a function of advocacy
    and capacity building
  • To create awareness among local players on the
    possibility for such local institution-building
  • To capacitate them not only to build such
    institutions but also to be trained in the
    technical aspects such as the various
    facets/features of the watershed approach

Enabling Role of National Bodies
  • The DENR should monitor and evaluate these local
    water bodies
  • This should not, however, stop local actors from
    collectively making action that would induce
    Congress to strengthen, through legislative
    recognition, the local structures.
  • Examples of this would include the mobilization
    moves that led to the creation of the Palawan
    Council for Sustainable Development and the
    current efforts to enact a law that would create
    a Davao River Authority.

Thank You!
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