Marcos Jr. orders gov’t agencies to cut down water consumption

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MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has directed government agencies to reduce their water consumption by 10% from the first quarter of the year in anticipation of the adverse effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

“There is an urgent need to implement water conservation measures to avert a looming water crisis not just in Metro Manila, but in all other areas of the country experiencing water scarcity,” read Memorandum Circular No. 22 dated Wednesday but only released to the media on Friday.

The memorandum, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, tasked all national government agencies and instrumentalities, including government corporations and state universities and colleges, to identify and implement specific, quantifiable and attainable water conservation measures.

It also ordered government-run water service providers (WSPs) and encouraged private WSPs to implement water conservation measures, including the management of lost water and water pressure.

They were also told to submit to the Water Resources Management Office a monthly supply-demand projection highlighting if there is any likelihood of a water shortage in the near future.

WSPs were also told to immediately complete projects to reduce water loss and upgrade water distribution pipes.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday that the El Niño phenomenon, characterized by warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator, has arrived, raising fears of extreme weather and temperature records.

The weather pattern last occurred in 2018-19, and takes place every two to seven years on average.

Most of the warmest years on record have occurred during El Niños, and scientists are concerned that this summer and next could see record temperatures on land and in the sea.

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