Clean Water Act Research Paper

Submitted By gheannemarie
Words: 1567
Pages: 7

What you should know about the Clean Water ActWhy 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.Highlights of the Clean Water ActHow will water quality be managed?Management of water quality will either be based on watershed, river basin or water resources region. Water quality management areas with similar hydrological, hydrogeological, meteorological or geographic conditions which affect the reaction and diffusion of pollutants in water bodies are to be designated by the DENR in coordination with the National Water Resources Board (NWRB).Who will manage these areas?Management will be localized. Multi-sectoral governing boards will be established to manage water quality issues within their jurisdiction.Who are the members of the Governing Boards?Governing Boards shall be composed of representatives of mayors and governors as well as local government units, representatives of relevant national government agencies, duly registered non-government organizations, the concerned water utility sector and the business sector.What are the functions of the Governing Boards?The Governing Boards will formulate strategies to coordinate policies necessary for the effective implementation of this Act. They will create a multi-sectoral group to establish and effect water quality surveillance and monitoring.How will discharges of wastewater be controlled?All owners or operators of facilities that discharge wastewater are required to get a permit to discharge from the DENR or the Laguna Lake Development Authority. Existing industries without any permit are given 12 months from the effectivity of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) promulgated pursuant to this Act to secure a permit to discharge.How will domestic wastewater be addressed?The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), in coordination with local government units will prepare a national program on sewage and septage management not later than 12 months from effectivity of this Act. A priority list will likewise be prepared which will be the basis for the allotment of funds on an annual basis by the national government for the construction and rehabilitation of required facilities.On the other hand, LGUs are to provide the land including road right of the way for the construction of sewage and/or septage treatment facilities and raise funds for the operations and maintenance of said facilities.The Department of Health (DOH) will formulate guidelines and standards for the collection, treatment and disposal of sewage as well as the guidelines for the establishment and operation of centralized sewage treatment system. The MWSS and other