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Use of rain harvesters urged during El Niño

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By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY -- An environmentalist has urged people to use rain harvesters in order to ensure sufficient supply of water during the El Niño phenomenon cycle which may cause drought in the country.

Former Councilor Louie Reyes, head of the Green Youth Brigade, said that big volumes of water supply will be saved if people recycle and use rain water for other purposes.

In the El Niño Advisory Number 7 dated September 3, 2015, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Acting Administrator Vicente B. Manalo said that a mature and strong El Niño is now present in the tropical Pacific Ocean, according to Reyes.

He added that consensus of climate model shows that it will likely to strengthen further before the end of the year and may last until the first half of 2016.

This 2015-16, El Niño event will potentially be among the four strongest events since 1950 (1972 to 1973, 1982 to 1983, 1997 to 1998), Reyes disclosed.

Presidential Adviser on Climate Change Elisea Gozun, former Environment and Natural Resources secretary, has proposed to the national government that it conduct a water audit on residential or household level.

Reyes said that while we have Energy Savers being labeled on electrical appliances, the same principle must apply to water saving technologies. “This is what we call water audit.”

Last June 2015, the Green Building Code was launched and it stipulates the rain harvester advocacy in residences, commercials and other properties.

“With the El Niño phenomenon, this is the time we must move,” Reyes said.

“Here in Angeles City, we have launched the Aluntiang Model Home for Green Architecture. Rain Harvester is integrated,” he added.

The Aluntiang Model Home has features integrated in the Green Building Code, Reyes said.

“We can utilize rain water and not waste it after it rains. We can water our garden plants with rain water. Imagine the savings we will get from Rain Harvester. The catch basin that collects rain water is covered so that no mosquitoes will breed there,” Reyes said.