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.
The Flow of the River: A Community-based Water Monitoring System
Atty. Green Panda as he is fondly called, Mark passed the 2017 BAR exams and brings to IDIS his environmental law background, and much-needed expertise to an organization engaged in environmental policy advocacy. He is also the former Vice President of the University of Mindanao Legal Advocacy Network (ULAN).
Today he continues to volunteer for IAmHampaslupa Ecological Agriculture Movement (Greenpeace) and ULAN. He enjoys his work at IDIS where he engages with different sectors and the government to push for the adoption of environmental policies. Mark finished his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Mindanao in 2014 and his AB in Mass Communication from Ateneo de Davao University in 2010. He plans to take up his Masters Degree in Environmental and International Law. His childhood dream also remains, which is to someday join National Geographics Team of Experts.