DENR moving to identify more potential sources of water

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La Mesa
A watershed dam structure is seen at the La Mesa Watershed lake in Quezon City.

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources  (DENR) said it will classify in the next five years 183 more bodies of water according to their quality and uses, among other considerations, as part of an effort to look for more potential sources of drinking water.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said he has been assured by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) that the classification of an additional 183 bodies of water will be finished by 2022.

To date, the agency has classified a total of 761 bodies of water since Republic Act 9275, or the Clean Water Law of 2004, was established.

“These water resources need to be protected and managed with care in order for them to supply us with abundant clean water for the foreseeable future,” Mr. Cimatu said in a statement on Wednesday,

The law mandates the DENR to categorize bodies of water — whether freshwater or coastal — according to their quality, area, purpose and vulnerability to pollution.

Water classification serves as a basis for planners to develop proper water quality management programs and set standards to protect aquatic life and human use of specific bodies of water.

Based on the standards the DENR has established, bodies of water can be classified as watersheds that are uninhabited or declared protected areas, water sources that require conventional upkeep, set aside as recreational areas or agriculture, and as navigable waters, among other categories. — Janina C. Lim