The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Water conducted its 1stNational Scientific Conference on Water with the theme “Integrated Water Resource Management: Harmonizing Research, Technology and Policy Towards Water Security for All” last November 7-9, 2019 at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), College, Laguna. This conference sought to provide an avenue for scientific exchanges among researchers; foster collaboration between water key actors; and enhance database on water through presentation of recent scientific researches.
Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., UPLB Chancellor, welcomed the delegates with a reminder to maximize the conference as avenue to gather vast network of agents of change to share institutional experiences and individual insights to be able to craft a collective response to assuring the quality of water supply.
For her part, Senator Cynthia Villar graced the event as keynote speaker. “There is no doubt that water-related issues need everyone’s attention and government needs the involvement of scientific community to share the responsibility of addressing water issues”, she said.
Meanwhile in his keynote speech, Dr. Ramon A. Razal, President, National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), emphasized the importance of researchers in the field of water resource management and encouraged young researchers to continue research for the advancement of knowledge in various disciplines.
Various agencies and researchers in water sector delivered plenary lectures. Engr. Maria Elinda Pajarito of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), tackled the State of Water Resources in the Philippines; Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Engineer Albert Samuela (NALCO EcoLab) presented smart water management and solutions in the industrial sector; Dr. Rodel D. Lasco of the Oscar M. Lopez Foundation and World Agroforestry Centre-Philippines discussed the impacts of climate change in the Philippine water resources; Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, Director of SEARCA presented various water initiatives in Southeast Asia; and Dr. Arlene B. Inocencio of De La Salle University (DLSU) discussed payments of ecosystem services in irrigation.
Around 180 participants from the academe, government agencies and private sector attended the conference. A half-day technical tour at lakes Sampaloc, Palakpakin and Mohicap of San Pablo City was conducted to cap-off the event on day three. (CBGigantone and JOAquino)