We pray for rains to quench our parched lands and water sources, especially during summer.

But it is ironic if we hear from our water distributor that heavy rains could lead to low supply and pressure.

The culprit?


Water becomes turbid (malubog) if it is “cloudy, opaque, or thick with suspended matter” (Oxford dictionary). The suspended matter is most likely to be sediments, which turn water to brownish color.

Sediment is solid material that is moved and deposited in a new location. Sediment can consist of rocks and minerals, as well as the remains of plants and animals. It can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a boulder.

The current water shortage caused by heavy rains and turbidity should be viewed from an environmental lens.


The late Engr. Edgar Mana-ay (God rest his soul) has been consistent in pointing out that sedimentation is an indicator of the sorry state of our watersheds and forests.

Sediments, which also cause siltation in rivers, move when the soil in forests and watersheds are loose, and this happens when there are no roots or even fallen leaves to keep the ground in place.

The fact that soil and sediments slide from the mountains to the rivers and eventually to our taps should alert us that our watersheds are in the red.

Truth be told, the only attention we give to our forests and watersheds are annual tree plantings. But is there really a holistic and sustainable way to maintain the integrity of the entire ecosystem?

The consequence is murky water that flows out of our taps, an ironic situation for a place endowed with a rich and complete environment.