What you should know about the Clean Water Act
Why the need for the Clean Water Act?
As early as 1996, monitoring of the country’s rivers showed that only 51% of the classified rivers still met the standards for their most beneficial use. The rest were already polluted from domestic, industrial and agricultural sources.
Most studies point to the fact that domestic wastewater is the principal cause of organic pollution (at 48%) of our water bodies. Yet, only 3% of investments in water supply and sanitation were going to sanitation and sewage treatment.
A recent World Bank report pointed out that Metro Manila was second to the lowest in sewer connections among major cities in Asia and less than 7% compared to 20% for Katmandu, Nepal and 30% for Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Thirty-one percent (31%) of all illnesses in the country are attributed to polluted waters. Clearly, to ensure access to clean water for all Filipinos, it was imperative that government put together a comprehensive strategy to protect water quality.
What is the Clean Water Act?
The Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 (Republic Act No. 9275) aims to protect the country’s water bodies from pollution from land-based sources (industries and commercial establishments, agriculture and community/household activities). It provides for a comprehensive and integrated strategy to prevent and minimize pollution through a multi-sectoral and participatory approach involving all the stakeholders.
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