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Flooding as a result of Deep well excavation

Background of the problem
Before the 1960s, the areas of CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) was
made up of widely spread lagoons used as fishponds. The areas have since been filled up to its
current configuration, which consists mainly of commercial districts and residential areas, along
with fishponds. CAMANAVA is generally low and flat, with elevations ranging from several
meters below mean sea level to two or three meters above mean sea level.
Because of the natural conditions of Malabon and Navotas, the sites are prone to enhanced
flooding dues to subsidence and sea level rise. Ground subsidence in areas include Navotas,
Malabon, Bulacan, Valenzuela, Caloocan, and Manila rates range from 5.5 to 6 centimeters per
year. The land subsidence in CAMANAVA is mainly due to excessive groundwater pumping by
fishpond operators, according to a study by Rodolfo and Siringanin (2006). This is the
phenomenon in which land sinks primarily because water that occupies the ground below is
extracted by humans, faster than it is replenished by nature.
This study analyses how excavating deep wells results to flooding. Coastal floods are
increasingly bothersome occurrences everywhere in the world where cities satisfy the water
needs of rapidly growing populations by pumping too much water out of the ground, causing the
land to subside. The probable consequences of continued sinking of the ground are alarming, as
dikes that serve to protect CAMANAVA from sea water incursion may eventually be overtopped
and bring forth sudden flooding. By conducting this research, the researchers hopes to know
how to solve the problem regarding to the issue of excavating or extraction of ground water.

Objective of the Study

Water extraction is the process of taking water from any source, either temporarily or
permanently, for flood control or to obtain water for, for example, irrigation. The extracted water
could also be used as drinking water after suitable treatment although water extraction or
groundwater pumping can cause land subsidence that can result to floods. Our main objective is
to find other ways of how to control Water extraction in the country and how to prevent
deterioration of the aquifer.

Method (Data Gathering)

Areas in CAMANAVA mainly (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) are sinking fast and it
is the reason why floods waters rise and flow inland quickly. According to Dr. Fernando Siringan
of the Marine Science Institute at the University of the Philippines Diliman, Lands are sinking
because of the natural compaction of soil and rapid withdrawal of groundwater.
A field study conducted by the Consultants for Engineering and Science and Technology (CEST)
identified the groundwater levels at the said areas as "critical." The study was commissioned by
the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) in 2004. The study revealed that groundwater
extraction was a major reason why floods take longer to subside in the cities of Caloocan,
Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela.
It also noted that severe water extraction from groundwater is also causing seawater intrusion
into groundwater as well as land subsidence, which could damage buildings, bridges and
highways due to sudden changes in ground elevation.

If you also use a pump to draw water from the ground from these areas, chances are youve had
days when the water tasted a bit salty. Worse, you may have even seen small particles down the
bottom of the glass when youve finished drinking. These things happen due to the adversely
affected groundwater flow pattern in these areas resulting from excessive withdrawal of
groundwater from the aquifer.
A United Nations report states that groundwater resources worldwide are overexploited and are
fast diminishing, as there is also very slow renewability. This overexploitation is happening in
many countries in Asia, Middle East, southern and northern Africa, some countries in Europe and
Cuba. "The potential risks are high if the aquifers are not replenished naturally or by human
intervention. It becomes only a matter of time before these resources run out or become
economically inaccessible," the report that was presented at the 2006 World Water Day
celebration in Mexico City said.
Underground water is one of our most valuable resources. Man extracts water from the aquifer
by digging a well until the top layer of the aquifer is reached. Over-extraction or pumping too
much water draws down the water table and eventually causes a well to generate less and less
water. If the sinking continues, In 10 to 20 years most likely coastal areas today are going to
become permanently underwater like sa Venice, said Narod Eco of University of the Philippines
(UP) Diliman National Institute of Geological Sciences.

Data Tools (Graph in excel)

Finding the Equation of the Graph
Reflection (Response to the problem)
To prevent deterioration of the aquifer, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) strongly
recommends the immediate development of alternative sources of water such as those drawn
from rivers or lakes. A shift from groundwater to surface water from the Metropolitan
Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and its concessionaires will give our ailing aquifers
the badly needed respite.
To inhibit total depletion and deterioration of Metro Manilas aquifers, the NWRB and its
consultants further recommend artificial recharging with water from Laguna de Bay and excess
surface water flows from Angat Dam.
Assessment of new applications for groundwater permits, enforcing design standards for new
wells, requiring the submission of well data, identification of illegal wells and calculation and
modelling of the groundwater budget are further recommendations for the effective management
of Metro Manilas groundwater resource.
Robert Marin, an engineer and inventor, suggested building a dam at the mouth of Manila Bay to
stop the rise of its water level. The dam would convert the bay into a lake and prevent high tide
from affecting nearby areas. Also, Scientists urge big businesses, fish pond owners and
households to stop using groundwater to prevent further land sinking.

Sinking of land brought about by over pumping of groundwater is yet another man-made
problem which worsens flooding. The abuse of our groundwater is the most serious case of
increased flooding and demands our most urgent attention. To prevent this, two approaches are
indicated. First, land subsidence would be slowed to whatever extent groundwater is replaced
with surfaced sources. Second, if groundwater is to continue to be a major source of water, it
must be protected by proper regulated use. A good water code and implementing rules and
regulations were promulgated by the National Water Resources Council (NWRCP 1979), but its
requirements are virtually ignored.
Billions of pesos are spent on climate change research and people are quick to blame global
warming for meteorologically related natural disasters. Although true, it is not the only reason for
our ecological woes. Extreme flooding has many more causes, including those which are more
tangible and can be addressed readily with some discipline.
We can never tame nature but we can mitigate its adverse impact. If we expect to significantly
reduce the damage of flood hazards, we should control our ways and live harmoniously with our
environment, a difficult task considering the rapid and poorly planned urbanization of Metro