Monday, March 23, 2015

Aims of Watershed Management

by Antonio C. Antonio
March 10, 2015

Watershed management is a means of protecting a lake, river, or stream by managing the entire watershed that drains into it.  The health and cleanliness of watersheds largely depend on an informed citizenry to make the right decisions when it comes to the environment and actions and interventions made and still to be made by the community on the watershed.

While 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water, 40 to 50% of inland water bodies are considered impaired or threatened.  A water body is considered impaired when it cannot support one or more of its natural functions such as drinking water, recreation or marine life habitat.  When we talk of watershed resources, we should highlight that the more important and basic elements are the natural (therefore, resources that are used by humans) and the human resources themselves.

What are the aims of watershed management?  Watershed management is a process involving the planning and implementation of both technical and policy initiatives to enable the natural and human resources of each watershed to contribute to one, or more of the following development aims (DENR-FMB, 1998):
  1. Improve standard of living through livelihood opportunities that wholly or partly depend upon utilization of watershed resources;
  2. Improve management of biodiversity;
  3. Improve management of watershed resources enabling them to be used for economically productive purposes on a sustainable basis while maintaining and enhancing their social and environmental service functions; and,
  4. Improve rainwater management so as to: (a) Provide water of the quality and quantity required and at the time needed; and (b) Provide human settlements, lowland farmlands/irrigation systems, power generation and transport infrastructure, fish ponds and coral reefs/coastal resources downstream of the watershed, with increased protection from damage by floods and sedimentation. (Villanueva, 2002)

These are the critical aims of watershed management.

Just my little thoughts…

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Villanueva, T. R., (2002).  Upland Ecosystem Management (2nd Edition).  University of the Philippines Open University

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