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Facing heat over water woes

As if climate change is not enough of a headache, there are more than 30 water agencies in the Philippines vying for control over the resource, offering often conflicting programmes.

All this is giving farmers in the Philippines, such as those (left) in Taguig City, south of Manila, a hard time. They say their crops are being damaged as a result of the diminishing sources of water.

About 85 per cent of the water in the country is used for agriculture.

Government officials, international aid agencies and other stakeholders have said the Philippines faces an alarming water security threat due to mismanagement, misuse and the impact of climate change, according to ABS CBN News.

Speaking at a forum on water security and climate change organised by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Senator Loren Legarda cited a 2015 study that showed the Philippines will likely experience a severe water shortage by 2040 due to the combined impact of rapid population growth and climate change.

She also called for a national water agency to coordinate efforts to solve the crisis.

Ms Mona Grieser, the lead implementer of a USAID water project in the Philippines, stressed the urgency of the issue, noting that the forecast for climate change has certain parts of the country experiencing major water scarcity.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2017, with the headline 'Facing heat over water woes'. Print Edition | Subscribe