In Dalaguete, we believe that water is the most critical resource issue of our lifetime. The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land. Hence, the Dalaguete Water Summit 2017 held at Dakong Bato last September 26-27. This summit talks about how significant the water resource in the municipality and how we can find ways for its sustainability for the next generation. This 2-day summit was attended by 18 barangay captains/ representatives representing their designated barangays and the water service providers for domestic and agricultural (irrigation). Distinguished speakers who were equally adept in their fields made the summit successful and they were, Soil and Water Conservation Foundation, Incorporated; represented by William Granert, Joel Carino and Engr. Fe Walag, Engr. Ligaya Señor, Mrs. Maria Luisa Villahermosa, Ms. Danica Osorio, and Engr. Petronio Muring,
Mayor Ronald Allan G. Cesante welcomed everyone with a talk about sustainability. The vision of Dalaguete Water Resource should be prioritized above all in a way that one should be adamant in preserving and using it properly. Further, he believed that our water system in Dalaguete is economically stable but should not be abused for it is finite, so one should use it properly. The event is helpful because it allows the participants to interact with different people and gives everyone the perspective to where the water industry is going. Furthermore, Hon. Cesante highlighted the formulation of the Dalaguete Integrated Water Authority coined as DIWA of which its advocacy is to unify all water providers to give a more effective and sustainable services to the whole town of Dalaguete.
The Training Management Team headed by Mr. Jan Dwight Paquilit set up the preliminaries like the expectation setting and the workshop overview before Engr. Donald Abraham Lara gave the summit purpose and the significance for the summit.
The seminar-workshop officially started with an environmental awareness talk from the Soil and Water Conservation Foundation Incorporated giving greater points to the importance of biodiversity and the overview of Karst. Mr. Joel Carino, Executive Assistant of SWCFI, shared that in the last 100 years average global temperature has increased by 0.74°C, rainfall patterns have changed and the frequency of extreme events increased. Change has not been uniform on either a spatial or temporal scale and the range of change, in terms of climate and weather, has also been variable. Change in climate has consequences on the biophysical environment such as changes in the start and length of the seasons, glacial retreat, and decrease in Arctic sea ice extent and a rise in sea level. Furthermore, the dissolution of soluble rocks namely limestone, dolomites and gypsum affects the underground drainage systems and later on formed as sinkholes and caves. These changes have already had an observable impact on biodiversity at the species level, in term of phenology, distribution and populations, and ecosystem level in terms of distribution, composition and function.
After lunch, William Granert and Engr. Fe Walag continued their talk about the groundwater recharge. In a bigger concept he explained about the Groundwater recharge or deep percolation as a hydrologic process where water moves downward from surface water to ground water. Recharge is the primary method through which water enters an aquifer. This process usually occurs in the vadose zone below plant roots and is often expressed as a flux to the water table surface. Recharge occurs both naturally (through the water cycle) and through anthropogenic processes (i.e., “artificial groundwater recharge”), where rainwater and or reclaimed water is routed to the subsurface. Therefore, it’s important to take care of the trees and plants surrounding the water source. SWCFI also had a demonstration with the use of their specially engineered model on Karst showed how the water in the aquifer can be easily and drastically be contaminated especially most of the soil structures in the whole province of Cebu is karst.
Globally, the inequalities between those having access to water both living in an urban and rural areas have decreased but large gaps remain. The most deprived are still using untreated surface waters like lakes and rivers. Many of those deprived communities are located in remote hard to reach areas. Therefore, rural water supply will remain a challenge for many national governments and their development partners in the coming decade.
Day one ended with the RHU represented, Ma’am Ma. Luisa Villahermosa graciously shared her expertise about water, hygiene and sanitation which was a very interactive talk. She gave light to the importance of water to our health. She emphasized that water is essential for the survival and development of everyone. Without water, we simply cannot thrive in a healthy environment. Water resources, and the range of services they provide, strengthen poverty reduction, economic growth and environmental sustainability. Furthermore, she talked about how many possible waterborne diseases if we don’t take care of our water resources. Waterborne diseases are caused by drinking contaminated or dirty water. Contaminated water can cause many types of diarrheal diseases, including Cholera, and other serious illnesses such as Guinea worm disease, Typhoid, and Dysentery. Water related diseases cause 3.4 million deaths each year. Therefore, it is essential for us to take extra care of our water resources.
The training management team opened the second day with a recap of the previous day’s event. Everyone was cooperative especially in giving out their points from yesterday and excited to eventually share it to their respective barangays. After the recap was a talk from Ma. Danica Nina Osorio, CPA which is about the basic accounting for waterworks. In her talk includes the overview, treatment of accounts and tariff computation. She gave importance to the coherence of the money, especially in the cycle of the waterworks. Her talk ended with a sample problem solving which made everyone elated.
Engr. Petronio Muring had the half day to himself by inculcating the operations and maintenance of the waterworks. In his talk included the institutional management, formulation of local policy, staffing and recruitment, procedures and activities in providing continuous and sustainable water supply and mostly ensuring water sustainability. He shared further that water conservation not only saves us money, it saves energy as well and ensures the health and well-being of our bodies and our environment. He believed that the water business is something that we need to integrate as there is no way we can work individually. We need to learn from each other. We need to learn to communicate with each other, share lessons and learn about the different technologies and experiences.
Overall, the Dalaguete Water Summit 2017 made an astounding impression of bringing together many thinkers in a broad geographic base – from consultants, to academics, and barangay captains – to have a lot of different ideas flowing to able to bring the best in the municipality together to look at the potential issues and potential solutions in our Waterworks.