Issue of July 7, 2019
     
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Planned EO aims to improve water availability for agri
by PNA release

A planned executive order seeks to help improve availability of water for growing crops and livestock nationwide.

“We are drafting the EO to accelerate use of rainwater harvesting in agricultural areas of the country,” Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) Soil Conservation Management Division chief Samuel Contreras said.

He said the EO’s issuance can help facilitate development of structures like small farm reservoirs where rainwater and runoff are collected, which will eventually provide water to farmers when traditional supply is tight or unavailable.

Farmers can have such facilities in their farms, he said.

Collecting, storing, and using rainwater also helps guard against over-extraction of groundwater, which Contreras said must be conserved as much as possible.

Intrusion of saltwater into coastal areas is among the adverse effects of over-extracting groundwater, he said.

He said BSWM aims to finish drafting the EO as soon as possible.

According to Pagasa, weak El Niño phenomenon is still prevailing and there is a 70 percent probability for it to continue until August.

Low pressure areas, tropical cyclones, the southwest monsoon or “habagat,” severe local thunderstorms, intertropical convergence zone, and tail-end of a cold front are weather systems that may affect the country from July to December, Pagasa said.

The weather bureau added that nine to 13 tropical cyclones may enter or develop inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility during such period.


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