Bull’s Eye! Our article yesterday made an “educated guess” or “gut feel” prediction that the hot, dry days are here again.
Today, we are experiencing extremely hot weather in Metro Manila. While yesterday, it was cool, windy and cloudy. Mr. Red Valencia, President of metrokonsult planners and formerly connected with Laguna Lake Development Authority; CSM & technical expert advice for LLDA-LISCOP/World Bank-funded projects Solid Waste Management Specialist. Mr. Valencia confirmed that hot dry season has begun. He commented on my blog and I quote “True. We’re experiencing grassfires in Rizal/Antipolo 2xweekly. Also, spring water sources are drying – and it’s only February”.
He claims that the usual water flow traversing their property in Antipolo is going dry. One can deduct that there is less rainfall in the Eastern part of the Philippines covering the Sierra Madre Mountains up to Quezon, and this would endanger our important water source.
Today’s topic will be on some tips on how we can prepare and undertake risk management during the coming hot, dry season. Because, there is a possibility that we could experience water shortage and power interruptions.
A drought occurs when there is a less-than-normal amount of rainfall over time. Drought has a bad impact on the agricultural sector. It will reduce productivity, with adverse effects on crops, livestock, trees and hydroelectric power. Rivers and lakes are also dried up during long periods without rain, slowing down the trade industry by limiting barge and ship travel.
We can prepare for a drought by following a few tips or steps:
Inside the House
- Reuse water whenever possible — “gray water” or Rain & Dew water can be recycled for the garden, car wash, toilets.
- Repair dripping faucets and leaky plumbing.
- Install aerators with flow restrictors on household faucets, and install low-flow showerheads.
- Insulate new water pipes and dispose old rusty pipes.
- When you buy new appliances, choose energy- and water-efficient models.
- Put a one-gallon plastic jug of water in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water needed to flush.
- Instead of flushing tissues and other waste down the toilet, put it in the trash.
- Compost food instead of putting it down the kitchen sink disposal, which uses a lot of water.
- Take short showers instead of a bath, which uses gallons of water. Turn off the water while you soap up, and then turn it back on to rinse. If possible, use what we Filipinos called “tabo” (dipper) to control water consumption while taking a bath.
- Don’t let the water run while you’re brushing your teeth, washing vegetables, thawing meat or waiting for tap water to get cool (store water in the refrigerator instead).
- Only run full loads of dishes and laundry.
Outside the House
- Lawns need only an inch of water per week. Watering in the early morning or evening will prevent water from being lost to evaporation from the heat.
- Make sure sprinklers aren’t watering the sidewalk or other areas that don’t need the water.
- Watch your hoses when you’re watering: A garden hose can discharge an amazing 600 gallons of water in only a few hours.
- Instead of planting thirsty vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees, put in native and drought-tolerant plants that, once established, can survive with less water.
- Plant a drought-tolerant lawn, and don’t over-fertilize it — too much fertilizer can increase the lawn’s need for water.
- Raise your lawn mower blade to its highest level — a higher cut encourages grass roots to grow deep, holds soil moisture and shades the root system from the hot sun.
- Weather-based irrigation or a smart controller will adjust to conditions in the environment and water more or less depending on rain, evaporation, soil moisture and other factors.
- Use mulch on your garden to prevent evaporation.
- Check for leaks in your water pump: If the automatic pump turns on and off when you’re not using water, you may have a leak.
- Install soaker hoses or a drip irrigation system that waters more efficiently.
- Install rain barrels to catch and store rainwater.
- Cover pools and spots to reduce water evaporation.
- Conserve water in your pool and spas by installing a water-saving pool filters.
Drought can also cause Power Shortage so we should also conserve power supply.
In a news on Philstar, published last January 3, 2014, that the Department of Energy is in talks with big power users such as the SM and JG Summit conglomerates for a program that would help provide additional power in Luzon when supply is tight, “It’s the same (as the one in Mindanao), the only difference is there is a market. We will come up with rules that Meralco (Manila Electric Co.) can invoke when prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market go up” Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said. We could also start former President Fidel V. Ramos’ ‘power barges’ and the late former President Marcos’ so called ‘little generators’.
We can also use the Solar energy for it is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available. Modern technology can harness this energy for a variety of uses, including generating electricity, providing light or a comfortable interior environment, and heating water for domestic, commercial, or industrial use.
Metro manila is prone to natural disasters so we have to be prepared. We have to spread out to other regions for incase the Metro Manila will get hit by these disasters, the whole government won’t be paralyzed and will still have the ‘back ups’ from other regions. “It is good to act ahead not to react when things go bad”.
In conclusion, I would like to advise to take seriously fire drills, what to do during earthquakes, and study some important tips on risk management. Corporations should make it a point to have a backup plan should disasters strikes. Each home from parents to children and domestic help should learn and train as to how to act when there is an earthquake, or fire or some other type of natural disaster or even other types of dangers such as robbery, theft, and other security issues that could endanger the home, family, and household.
Tomorrow, we shall begin a new series on the importance of spreading the centralization of say, government, education, and other types of services within the Metro Manila or the National Capital Region, we shall see the need of setting up key satellite cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.