MEASURING THE AMBURAYAN RIVER: Communities gathering information for the river’s protection

JVOFI staff, Environmental Management Bureau personnel and community members measure the width of the river in Sitio Pudoc, Alzate, Bangar, La Union .
JVOFI staff, Environmental Management Bureau personnel and community members measure the width of the river in Sitio Pudoc, Alzate, Bangar, La Union .

We are often told that water is life, but no one knows this more than communities who live tied to the current and flow of the bodies of water near their home. Communities, farms, families and lives are built around water, settlements are made where there are springs and rivers nearby. When a river dries up, farmlands die and in provinces where the seasons of planting and harvest underlie culture, beliefs and identity, this is a heavy toll. Knowing as much as possible about a river helps in making decisions, predictions, actions and cautionary measures to ensure that the river as a valuable resource is preserved.

Last April 5-8, 2016,  JVOFI staff along with the assistance of the National Irrigation Administration, Environmental Management Bureau and community members took biophysical measurements of the Amburayan River in project areas of Benguet, Ilocos Sur and La Union  to establish baseline measurements of river width, depth and volume. This information is key in helping monitor water resources for concerns like irrigation, water management and water quality.

In Benguet, some areas of the river had dried up and investigating the cause of this was prioritized. In Ilocos Sur and La Union, special care was given in identifying areas vulnerable to flooding when the river would overflow. Knowing baseline measurements of the river enables communities, local government units and agencies to monitor the river’s condition and make plans to prevent instances of flooding and low water levels.

Protecting and Defending the Amburayan River Basin and Watershed through Good Governance and Active Peoples’ Participation is a project funded by the USAID through the Gerry Roxas Foundation (GRF) and is implemented by the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation Inc.  (JVOFI).// Flynn S. Ayugat

 

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