Isabela State University (ISU) highlights its commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation.
The University offers graduate programs in Land and Water Resources Engineering designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to assess, develop, and design water infrastructure for effective water management. The Master of Science in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (MSABE) and Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (PhD-ABE) both offer a major in Land and Water Resources Engineering.
The MSABE develops highly trained human resources who could plan, design, develop, operate, manage, and maintain water resources projects. Furthermore, graduates are equipped to conduct meaningful research, particularly in the field of land and water resources engineering. This program’s curriculum emphasizes the core content necessary for students to excel in their roles and make significant contributions to water resource management.
The PhD-ABE focuses on land and water resources engineering, which is designed to provide graduates with the ability to impart knowledge in resources development and management, and to conduct a sharply focused and detailed academic research. Graduates of this program are expected to provide the leadership in developing new technologies for soil and water resources utilization and conservation applicable to local and global situations. These graduate programs have the undergraduate counterpart which is the Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. The PhD-ABE is yet to be offered as the Certificate of Compliance is under evaluation in the Commission on Higher Education.
ISU is not just dedicated to quality education but also actively contributes to the advancement of knowledge and research through various initiatives and projects. One of the initiatives of the university is the “5th International Graduate Research Colloquium on Climate Change and Water Management” to advance research and collaboration in water management. The event showcased presentations by top researchers focusing on various aspects of water management like:
- Spatio-Temporal Impacts of Climate Change on a River Basin: Highlighting the urgent need to understand and mitigate the effects of extreme hydroclimatic events.
- Optimizing Operation Rules for Dam Sedimentation: Emphasizing proactive measures to respond to the impacts of sedimentation on dams and optimizing their operation rules.
- Integrated Flood and Sediment Management at the River Basin Scale: Addressing comprehensive interventions for flood and sediment management, focusing on risk communication and mitigation measures.
- Water Resources and River Basin Research and Development Agenda: Advocating for science-based interventions to address gaps and issues in water resources management, embedding them within key research projects for effective outcomes.
- International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Management: Providing a platform for experts to share insights and collaborate on strategies to address climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, with a particular focus on water management challenges.
In addition to academic research, ISU has implemented projects on sustainable water extraction/collection technologies. One of which is the use of water harvesting on and off campus and collecting and storing rainwater from roofs or other surfaces for later use. This decentralized approach reduces the strain on centralized water supplies and can be used for various purposes like irrigation and non-potable uses within buildings. We have this system in the College of Engineering and collaborated with the LGU of Cauayan City for their urban stormwater harvesting facility. Utilizing solar energy to power water pumps, providing sustainable and off-grid solutions for water extraction were also established in the campus.
The stormwater water intervention facility has a total catchment area of 3 hectares with a storage capacity of 1750 cubic meters. The water harvesting components are flushing treatment device, storage tank, groundwater recharge tank, UV treatment, suction pumps, elevated tank, water quality monitoring system and valves and pipings. The approved budget cost (ABC) for the construction of the SWHF project amounts to ₱ 4,849,526.11 based on 20% of the year 2023 Economic Development Fund (EDF).
Aside from academic research and projects, the University also conducted community/stakeholders’ fora on the water conservation in collaboration with LGUs, government agencies and international agencies on water security. ISU has completed an assessment of water security in the Cagayan River Basin and has crafted policy and interventions to improve water security level in the region.
ISU’s International Organization on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Inc. (IO-CCA-DRRM) played a pivotal role in cementing a partnership between the Japan Water Agency (JWA) and the City of Santiago, Philippines, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on July 16, 2022. The collaboration focuses on promoting UN-SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) and bolstering water security in Santiago City.
Dr. Ricmar P. Aquino, ISU and IO-CCA-DRRM President, and Dr. Orlando F. Balderama, Vice President for Research and Development, Extension and Training, renowned for their contributions to integrated water resources management ventures in the Philippines, have spearheaded Japan-Philippines collaborative initiatives, particularly in flood and sediment management within the ASEAN region.
This collaboration aims to foster joint efforts and projects in achieving water security for Santiago City, emphasizing knowledge sharing on water-related challenges, especially concerning flood and sediment management of Magat Dam and Cagayan River Basin, aligned with UN-SDG 6. The signing ceremony was accompanied by a warm welcome from the city’s officials, underlining the city’s enthusiasm for international collaborative projects that align with the pursuit of UN-SDG 6 and water security. The stakeholders further organized a Stakeholders Forum on Integrated Flood Risk Management in the Cagayan River Basin, signifying the beginning of collaborative efforts among various stakeholders in the ASEAN region, with emphasis on integrated water resources management. The partnership signifies hope and motivation to enhance synergies in global integrated water resources management, striving to fulfill UN-SDG 6 objectives.
Furthermore, ISU completed a project for the NEDA to assess the water security level of the Cagayan River Basin. The Isabela State University and National Economic and Development Authority Region 2 (NEDA 2) conducted a study titled “Water Security in Cagayan River Basin: Assessment of Impact of Present and Future Climate to Water Resources and Demands for Agriculture, Domestic, and Industry Using the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) Model.” Through WEAP as an analytical modeling tool, the research aimed to generate information on water resources, its present use, and future demands. It also aimed to establish indicators of the water security index of the CRB and Magat Sub- basin (MSB) under present and future climate scenarios.
Activities and Initiatives