Tuesday, June 4, 2024

The Isabela State University, through its Water Research and Development Center (WReDC), led the kickoff meeting with the Department of Science (DOST), Bulacan State University (BulSU), and National Irrigation Administration (NIA) on June 05, 2024, to formally commence the collaborative work of the said agencies for the implementation of the research project on “Sediment Evaluation and Development of Intervention (SEDI): S&T-Based Approach for Sustainable Management of Reservoirs and River Basins”.
After the program preliminaries, the R&D team for SEDI introduced themselves to foster camaraderie and strengthen their partnership. Afterward, Dr. Lanie A. Alejo, Project Leader of SEDI and Director of WReDC, provided an in-depth overview of the SEDI project, highlighting the problem of sedimentation which needs to be addressed through S&T-based interventions. She further explained the project objectives and framework, research sites, work plan, budget from DOST and its counterparts, and project outputs and impacts.
The open forum phase of the meeting revolved around the hiring of additional staff from BulSU to complete the SEDI R&D team, specifications of censors for the equipment outlay, releasing of initial funds for the first year of project implementation, hybrid comprehensive training for project staff and students and secondary data from Angat Dam for the models, communication with Angat Dam operators for data gathering, inflow-outflow data, and procurement of equipment. Furthermore, Engr. Sarah Almah P. Bentir, BulSU faculty, also explained the privatized water supply and hydroelectric power plant as key players in the management of Angat Dam along with institutional mechanisms.
In addition, Dr. Orlando F. Balderama, Vice President for Research and Development, Extension and Training, suggested that the SEDI R&D team could offer technical assistance to the University of Science and Technology of the Philippines (USTP) in the formulation of R&D agenda on water resources management. Likewise, he specifically highlighted that the R&D team could conduct a webinar series for the USTP R&D team and a colloquium for graduate students through its partnership with the International Organization on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Inc. (IO-CCA-DRRM), which will be formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding.
To conclude the meeting, Dr. Alejo expressed, “We are praying that we could really fulfill the core mission of SEDI project to help our stakeholders in reducing the impacts of sedimentation with the help of everybody”. This underscores the significance of multipartite partnership in addressing the sedimentation issues in the country’s reservoirs and river basins.