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December is “Protecting the Waters Month”

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About 80% of the earth’s surface is water. More or less 97% of the earth’s water is seawater. Two percent of the earth’s water supply is locked in icecaps and glaciers, but only one (10 percent of the earth’s water is available for drinking.

Thus, Protecting the Waters Month is celebrated in December each year to highlight the need to protect the waters through innovative steps that are environmentally sustainable and socially responsible.

As early as 1996, monitoring of the country’s rivers showed that only 51% of the classified rivers still met the standards for their most beneficial use. The rest were already polluted from domestic, industrial and agricultural sources.

Thirty-one percent (31%) of all illnesses in the country are attributed to polluted waters. To ensure access to clean water for all Filipinos, it was imperative that government put together a comprehensive strategy to protect water quality, thus, the Clean Water Act of 2004.

The Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 or Republic Act No. 9275, aims to protect the country’s water bodies from pollution from land-based sources like industries and commercial establishments, agriculture and community or household activities. It provides for a comprehensive and integrated strategy to prevent and minimize pollution through a multi-sectoral and participatory approach involving all the stakeholders.

Water is necessary for all living things. It makes up approximately 70 percent of the human body’s weight and plays a big role in its functions, such as digestion and cooling.

Without clean drinking water, man could not survive. Water is easy to contaminate but difficult and expensive to clean up. Everything man puts into the environment accumulates and results in dire consequences.

For the same reason people buy home and life insurance to avoid catastrophic losses, everyone is duty bound to protect the waters.

Putting unnecessary strains on natural water sources is putting into danger life on Earth. (PIA)




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