Groups make checklist for Maasin watershed

Groups make checklist for Maasin watershed

By Elsa S. Subong, Friday 22nd of June 2012

ILOILO CITY, June 22 (PIA) -- A set of indicators to determine the state of the Maasin watershed have been drawn up by the technical working groups of the Tigum-Aganan Watershed Management Board (TAWMB) and the Watershed Water Quality Management.

The 25 output indicators include agricultural yields produced, households, hectares planted and the varieties of trees, and other variables that would gauge the existing conditions in the watershed.

The Maasin watershed, vastly devastated by Typhoon Frank almost five years ago, is the main water source for the Tigum-Aganan areas that include Iloilo City among the towns of Maasin, Cabatuan, Sta. Barbara, Pavia, San Miguel, Leon, and Alimodian.

In a press release, the Canadian Urban Institute, which assists the groups in the preparation of the State of the Watershed Report (SoWR), said the groups also came up with major expected outcomes based on the existing management plan for the Tigum-Aganan.

These outcomes are abundant clean water, sustainable agriculture/livelihood, disaster-resilient communities and improved governance.

The groups were assisted by experts who underscored the importance of having clear and specific indicators.

Gary Wilkins, Canadian Water Management expert, said indicators are needed in watershed management, to help identify gaps, issues, challenges and imperatives.

Wilkins added that the indicators will also help determine the actions to be done, serve as benchmark to determine progress.

On the other hand, Elmer Mercado, a land use specialist, emphasized the importance of formulating a scorecard as a weighing and scaling system which will tell whether what the watershed boards are effective or not.

The local chief executives of the Tigum-Aganan towns said they were all in one in performing their responsibilities as they acknowledged the mounting concerns, the need for manpower and other resources in addressing environmental difficulties, especially in mitigating adverse effects of huge calamities like that of Typhoon frank.

Meanwhile, CUI Project Manager Benjamin Luz said, they will keep on assisting the watershed boards, especially in finishing the framework and completing the SoWR.

He added that when the report is published, he hoped the contents will be disseminated and even parts of some textbooks and included in the curriculum.

The draft of the SoWR was already presented in a public forum early this year. (JCM/ESS/PIA-Iloilo) - Timeline 2012