Exec pushes for implementation of water catchment ordinance

AN OFFICIAL from the Philippine weather agency reminded the city to implement the Rainwater Catchment Ordinance, in anticipation of the dry spell which is expected to prolong its stay until July this year.

Gerry Pedrico, chief meteorological officer of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Agency, said there has been no clear implementation of the ordinance despite the availability of the IRR.

Pedrico said that the city is expected to be among the areas likely to be hard hit by the phenomenon until the middle of the year.

The region is currently experiencing a condition categorized by the agency as a dry spell.

Dry spells are defined as three consecutive months of below normal rainfall condition.

The reduction ranges from 21% to around 60% reduction from the average rainfall.

Meanwhile, Pedrico said that the water surface temperature had reached levels that were among the highest since the 1900s, at 2.7 degrees celcius.

The normal water surface temperature is 0 degrees, while the acceptable threshold is around 0.4 degrees celcius.

There were two other notable periods of drought in the country, according to the PAGASA meteorologist.

The two others were in the late 1990s and the 1980s.

The rainwater harvesting ordinance mandates the creation of catchment systems for new establishments as a prerequisite for the issuance of business permits.

The ordinance also requires the harvesting, storage, and use of rainwater, which are to be integrated into the design of the establishment.

Other areas in Mindanao that are anticipated to experience dry spells are Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, Davao del Sur, and Saranggani.

The hardest hit areas, according to the January outlook by Pagasa, are South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Basilan, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-tawi.

He said 16 provinces, or around 20% of the country,  is expected to experience drought for the month.

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