Building and repairing infrastructure is a problem that many countries face. Both developed and developing countries struggle with providing enough roads, sewers, and other necessary systems to keep up with the needs of a growing population. The Philippines is not exempt from this issue.
The lack of water infrastructure, in particular, is a problem the country needs to tackle immediately. The number of wastewater treatment plants, canals, aqueducts, and sanitation plants, among other infrastructures, is visibly scarce when compared to fast-growing cities.
Given the visible shortage of water solutions, the need to address them and provide solutions has never been more urgent. Continued deficiency in water supplies can lead to further problems down the road, affecting public health, job security, and safety from natural calamities. To elaborate further, here are some of the reasons why people and institutions should support building more water infrastructure in the Philippines.
Water is Critical to Personal Hygiene, Health, and Safety
Water is vital to life. All living things—humans, animals, and plants—require water to survive. And it is not only about surviving. People also need water for their jobs. For example, a farmer needs water to ensure healthy livestock and a plentiful harvest. Humans also need water to keep themselves clean, which helps prevent the spread of communicable diseases.
Hence, it becomes a serious problem when people do not have access to clean water. The Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic highlighted this fact. As the general public becomes more aware of the importance of personal hygiene and how potentially harmful microorganisms can spread so easily, the need for safe-to-use water only becomes more apparent.
Moreover, this problem does not only affect one household. It affects entire communities, particularly families who live under the poverty line. After all, they are the demographic that often lack access to clean water. When their community becomes sick, they pose a health threat to neighboring communities as well.
Investing in water infrastructures like treatment plants, working sewers, and unblocked canals can help mitigate these effects, especially in the middle of a pandemic. Access to clean water will help ensure that people stay on top of their personal hygiene and protect their communities from getting infected.
Help Jumpstart the Economy
Several industries require working water. Aside from farming, some of the other industry sectors that need water include fisheries, manufacturing, mining, tourism, construction, and healthcare. Without water, these industries will not strive and might ultimately close because they cannot function. Consequently, job security becomes fickle, and more people struggle to stay afloat in these economic conditions.
With an effective water infrastructure system in place, more industries will thrive and continue to make their contributions to society as a whole. This leads to more job opportunities and more people getting out of unemployment, which helps eliminate the incidence of poverty in the country.
With job security, Filipinos will have more purchasing power and allow them to buy from and support local brands and businesses, helping improve the economy as a whole. Ultimately, these advancements could potentially help decrease crime rates and help families live in safer communities.
More Efficient Response to Fires and Natural Disasters
Typhoons are regular visitors of the Philippines, but they are not the only natural disasters that Filipinos experience. Droughts, floods, volcanic eruptions, and landslides are part of the yearly calamity repertoire. In these instances, numerous families become stranded, displaced, or even injured. The situation becomes significantly more difficult, however, when there are no water infrastructures in place to address these calamities or they are not up to par.
Take floods, for example. During heavy rains, water cannot flow properly when sewer capacity has been exceeded. Additionally, the shortage of wastewater treatment plants makes it difficult to process all the extra sewage water and may even cause them to break down.
When these calamities are not addressed immediately, more families struggle to get back on their feet. Moreover, outbreaks of diseases become more likely without a stable environment that has access to clean water. As such, water solutions should be part of the equation when forming a plan for disaster response.
Overall, it becomes clear that investing in water infrastructure is not only about improving water accessibility. It is also about elevating qualities of life, providing livelihoods, and offering a level of security to all sectors of the population. Water solutions benefit everybody, from the average Joe walking down the street to corporate giants seeking to improve their current ventures.
Additionally, investing in water solutions does not only cover building new canals, dams, and other water-related edifices. It is also about repairing current systems and seeking a healthy mix of gray and green infrastructures. In light of the movement for more environment-friendly water solutions, this approach will help ensure that new projects not only address the problems of today but also of tomorrow.