You are here

The Water Connection

Mark Resty Amon*

We are all connected to water. It is essential in continuing life in this world. Even the earth surface is 75% water only 3% of it is fresh water and only 33% of the total fresh water can be utilized for drinking. It is important to raise the awareness of people about the value of water since nowadays people around the globe are suffering from various water crises.

The Asia-Pacific Youth Water Forum 2012 aimed to do just that, and was held July 23-27 at Suwon City, South Korea. It gathered representatives from ten different countries namely Australia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.

I was one of the two Philippine representatives who participated in this forum. It was my first time to attend such a big event, especially one that involved youths from other countries. This kind of forum is a big help in the near future because teaching the youth about environmental problems will make us more thoughtful on our role in solving environmental problems. Investing in young minds will give a change that is favorable for our environment and eventually, it will lead to improvement in society and in our lives.

During my stay there in South Korea I learned about different environmental issues involving water and how they solved those problems. One of those problems is on the Curog Orok of Indonesia. It was once a famous waterfall because of its beautiful surroundings but it changed after people upstream let the feces of cows run on the river that is connected to the waterfall. The awful smell drives the tourists out of that place and leaves people with a bad impression.

Dumping feces on the river is not only bad for tourism. The worst effect of dumping cattle waste is the damage to the ecosystem and the source of potable water. The people of Indonesia searched for a possible solution they can use to alter this event. The people decided to build a dam to filter the water and make it much cleaner. They also thought of possible ways to dispose of the feces, and they came up with making natural fertilizer and producing biogas. The effort of Indonesians in cleaning their waterfall is remarkable, by this example we can deduce that it is not too late to take a step and correct the humans’ mistake.

 

 

I also learned that urbanization is not necessarily a danger to the environment. The Suwon River is at the middle of the city yet it is not polluted. The Suwon government revived their rivers and made it closer to people, in a good way. The people of Suwon keep the area of the river free from garbage by picking trash along the river.

Fishes and plants are the proof that life exist in the Suwon river. As I walked through the river I saw that plants do live there. They say that those plants act as a filter on the water making it suitable for other livings things as well. I also saw little fish jumping in the water. I think those fish feed on the insects near the surface of the water. The walls of the river have a hidden passage that is connected to underground channels. In case the water reaches critical level, the passage will open and catch excess water. This thing keeps the nearby establishments safe when the water flowing in the river is too much.

The city also has a rain water capture facility that stores water beneath the ground. Suwon City wants to have accesses on all possible water sources, including rainwater. Utilizing rainwater is a big help in minimizing the consumption of water from watersheds and secures water supply for the people. They also build water treatment facilities to lessen the pollution on water. Building water treatment facilities is really expensive but if we look at the benefit it can give to the people and the environment, the cost is worth it.

All things are connected to each other; your actions can affect other life forms. Let us all be responsible on the things we are doing and make sure that every decision we make will not endanger other living things and the environment that sustains life. Save water, save earth, save life.

*Mark Resty Amon is a freshman engineering student at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, and has been involved in several activities led by Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines.