EDITORIAL

Water is a human right

WATER is a very basic need yet we still have communities in the country that have no access to clean and potable water. Even in Iloilo City, there are still areas not fully serviced, or intermittently serviced, by the Metro Iloilo Water District.
A study by the World Resources Institute revealed that the Philippines will likely experience severe water shortage by 2040 due to the combined impact of rapid population growth and climate change. Furthermore, the Philippines ranks 57 out of 167 countries that are highly vulnerable to severe water shortage.
Water is a human right and the State must ensure that the water in our lakes, rivers and other sources of freshwater reaches our faucets and is fully maximized. Every citizen must have access to potable water but this must be sustained in the long term. To achieve this, we must reform the water industry itself and lay down a roadmap to ensure water security for the country.
The protection of our forests is also essential in improving water security. Forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater.
 We must ensure that we sustainably manage our forests, protected areas and water resources so that we supply the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Our forests provide various ecosystem services, the most basic of which is production of food and supply of water. Certainly, we need to manage our forests in a manner that would ensure that these ecosystem services would be sufficiently provided to our people now as well as to the future Filipinos.