Reiterating the University’s commitment to sustainable development, AdZU President Fr. Karel San Juan, SJ, in his speech at the Groundwater Management Plan (GMP) Presentation last May 11, 2018 at a local hotel, expressed his enthusiasm over AdZU’s partnership with government, stating, “We are clearly on the same page as far as priority for sustainable development is concerned.”
The groundwater management project is a collaboration among AdZU, the Ateneo de Manila University, City government, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) and the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), with the two latter agencies funding the project. “Our partnerships are centered in our common desire to make Zamboanga a better place now and in the future,” Fr President pointed out.
The groundwater management project, with the AdZU-Geo-informatics for a Systematic Assessment of Flood Effects and Risks in Mindanao (Geo-SAFER) as a co-implementor, will assess and monitor the groundwater of the city by constructing ground water monitoring wells with real-time capability to assess both quality and quantity of groundwater. “These technical interventions have become strategic in making our City more sustainable, more secure, more safe, and more progressive,” Fr San Juan stated.
The need to manage the city’s water resources came about when Zamboanga was tagged as a potential water critical area in 1997, resulting in the development of the Groundwater Management Plan for Zamboanga City and Surrounding Areas by the project proponents.
Through the project, information obtained about water quality will be used to determine the potability of groundwater which can impact human health and the quality of life of Zamboanguenos in general. The monitoring systems will also provide the tools to assist both national and local government units in formulating policies to protect this vital resource and to improve environmental quality.
Other initiatives by the University, Fr San Juan stated, in pursuing its mission of sustainable development include mangrove-planting and bamboo-planting activities, which he said all help mitigate the casualties brought about by climate change.
Fr San Juan was one of the three keynote speakers at the event, along with DOST Secretary (DOST) Fortunato dela Peña and NWRB executive director Sevillo David, Jr. City Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar delivered the welcome remarks.