The Flow of the River: A Community-based Water Monitoring System

2023 2023 Winner Project | Engage Science Engagement (Falling Walls Engage)

Fresh drinking water is becoming an important issue in this decade. The role of water monitoring is a function provided by water utility providers such as the Davao City Water District (DCWD) in the case of Davao City, Philippines. On a national scale, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Environment Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) is mandated with monitoring the country’s water resources. However, there is a growing trend to democratize water monitoring though engaging local communities. As major stakeholders, local communities can be trained to become river watchdogs to complement and support the government’s water quality monitoring role. Through the project, The Flow of the River: A Community-based Water Monitoring System, local communities especially local youth members (Bantayo Aweg or Water Guardians) are trained and empowered to monitor water quality in Panigan-Tamugan River – the next source of drinking water of Davao City – through manual testing of the eight parameters, i.e., temperature, color, dissolved oxygen, nitrate, phosphate, pH, stream flow discharge, and macro-invertebrate population. Data secured through the water monitoring are turned into policy recommendations to ensure protection of the rivers.

Mark Peñalver

Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS), Inc.

Mark Peñalver is a lawyer having been admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2017. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication from Ateneo de Davao University and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Mindanao. Currently, he is serving as the Executive Director of Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS), Inc. a policy advocacy and environmental non-government organization with a primary focus on watershed protection and conservation and the promotion of urban sustainable transformation. As such, he represents the organization in different local special bodies in Davao City, among others, the City Development Council, Local Zoning and Review Committee, Watershed Management Council, and Davao City Climate Change Committee.

As an environmental lawyer he advocates for an inclusive policy development and implementation through active community participation.

He is an alumnus of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) – Professional Fellows Program on Sustainable Development and the Environment by the United States Department of State-Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. He recently participated in the nature-based/regenerative placemaking sandbox hosted by the University of Melbourne, Australia with support from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Events with Mark Peñalver

Tue | Nov 07, 2023 | 11.30 AM - 01.00 PM Berlin Time

Falling Walls Engage Pitches – Session 2: Engaging Communities for Planetary Health

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