Sta. Rosa, Laguna
Water and Watershed Programmes
The Santa Rosa watershed is reeling from the impacts of urbanization and industrialization. Rapid population growth, intensive land development and landscape changes have reduced its natural capacity to retain water and hold rainfall during rainy days. This has often resulted in large-scale flooding, water pollution and groundwater scarcity. WWF-Philippines implemented a five-year programme to assist local stakeholders in managing their watershed zones.
By enhancing the capacities of stakeholders with official mandates in formulating and implementing watershed policies, the water resources of the Santa Rosa Watershed and nearby Laguna de Bay can be better managed.
The City of Santa Rosa offers a good example of an LGU which completed the policy cycle through the formulation of its own Environmental Code. Innovative provisions were introduced such as flood-neutral land development, flood and sewage master plans, groundwater management through partnerships and participatory water governance. The Clean Water Act of 2004 offers the way forward in terms of institutional mechanisms through the Governing Board and formulation of the Integrated Water Resources Management Plan, where water quality management is subsumed. Plans and governing structures have been crafted for the Santa Rosa watershed. For LLDA, the Santa Rosa project provides a template for future replication throughout the Laguna Lake basin. The Hydrologic Atlas for Laguna de Bay was published to standardize hydrological data throughout the Laguna Lake region and provide a sound scientific basis for policy formulation. This is the first step in a long process. Success and continuity will be contingent on LLDA working closely with the watershed LGUs in moving this process forward.