VOLUME 16 (Supplement)

SciEnggJ%202023%20Special%20Issue%2001 09-Banaay%20et%20al

SciEnggJ 16 (Supplement) 049-057
available online: June 24, 2023

*Corresponding author
Email Address: joaquino2@up.edu.ph
Date received: 26 February 2022
Date revised: 24 May 2023
Date accepted: 06 June 2023


Experiences, Challenges, and Initiatives on Water Resource Management of a Small Island Community: The Case of Basco, Batanes, Philippines

Jessa O. Aquino*1, Patricia Ann J. Sanchez1, Unice Faith A. Roa3, Maria Helen F. Dayo2, and Catherine B. Gigantone1

1School of Environmental Science and Management,
      University of the Philippines Los Baños
2College of Agriculture and Food Science,
      University of the Philippines Los Baños
3USAID Safe Water Project, DAI Global LLC

KEYWORDS: water resource management, small island community, IWRM, Basco, Batanes

With the increasing water demand across different sectors: residential, commercial, agriculture, tourism, and energy, management of this finite resource is a major challenge in harnessing and sustaining its availability. The increasing demand for water from various stakeholders of Basco, Batanes puts pressure on the availability of water. These supply constraints are rooted in the current management setup aside from its biophysical characteristics. The main objective of the study is to better understand the water-related issues and concerns and the operation and implementation of water resource strategies and programs in the case of the small island community in Basco, Batanes. Specifically, it aims to i) characterize the existing water supply systems in a small island community; and ii) assess the challenges, experiences, and efforts in water resources management. Guided with the Integrated Water Resource Management principles (IWRM), the experiences, issues, challenges, and opportunities in water resources management in the small island community were assessed. The available water sources and existing water systems were characterized, and challenges and initiatives toward effective resource management were also evaluated. The methods employed were secondary data collection; detailed household, commercial, and institutional sectors surveys; Focus Group Discussions (FGD) using Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) matrix; Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with key officials in the Local Government Unit (LGU) to capture data on the current operation and implementation of water-related programs. Results showed that Basco, the capital of Batanes, only has two major sources of water: Racuaranum (upstream) and Miaga (downstream) springs. It has no perennial or ephemeral streams. The intermittent streams only flow for a few minutes during heavy rainfall events. Their other sources of water are deep wells and rainwater for everyday use. With the limited budget and human resources of the small island community, localized integrated water resource management highlights the importance of institutional aspects towards its success. A framework on effective resource management emphasized the importance of institutional synergies in small island community setups, such as: joint implementation of watershed management plans, enhancement of technical and financial capabilities given a limited budget and human resources, improvement, and maintenance of water facilities, etc. The complexities of the issues surrounding water resources management could be best addressed by the consolidated efforts of government institutions, the private sector, and the local community within the small island, prioritizing environmental sustainability, economic efficiency, and social equity.

© 2024 SciEnggJ
Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering