Watershed 101

Mount Bulusan

Bulusan Volcano, a composite mountain provides ecosystem services to the communities surrounding it from drinking water to farm irrigation. The effects of climate change are barely felt here due to its ‘micro climate’ shield. While other areas may suffer drought, this area remains protected from dry spell.


Fresh water spring in nearby Palogtoc offers mountain fresh drinking water that I call ‘the champagne of drinking waters’ in the entire region.


Brook as clear as your tap water is a common sight in Bulusan.

I came across with the best definition of watershed lately in my quest for answers to questions related to the Geothermal issue in my hometown Bulusan.  The definition was the simplest yet the most enlightening in the course of my search for answers.

It reads:

What is a Watershed?

A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place. John Wesley Powell, scientist geographer, put it best when he said that a watershed is:

“that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.” (Source:http://water.epa.gov/type/watersheds/whatis.cfm)

This definition makes sense in this paragraph detailing the effects of Geothermal energy extraction in a rainforest that says:

Water Cycles

“Geothermal wells disrupt the natural water cycles of rain forest ecosystems, which can be quite fragile. The deforestation that occurs in the immediate vicinity of the wells leads to erosion and disruption of streams and rivers. The wells affect underground aquifers and can change the direction of underground water flows. The continuous usage of deep water sources can change the temperature and composition of aquifers, leading to disruption of water distribution on the surface where trees, other plants and animals are dependent on it.”

Recommended reading: http://www.culturalsurvival.org/ourpublications/csq/article/hawaiis-rainforest-crunch-land-people-and-geothermal-development

Related post: https://bulusanruralvagabond.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/bulusan-water-gallery-1/

Photos: Alma P. Gamil

Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines


4 thoughts on “Watershed 101

    • Thank you so much, Elmer. Being able to relay a message clearly is my only aim. Being complimented by an excellent photographer and blogger is another thing 🙂 I am sooo delighted. I am still soaring 🙂
      Thank you also for guiding me to the Katy of Lake Superior Spirit site. I am humbled after reading her blogs. She is effortlessly awesome. Idol agad-agad! Hope to reach even a fraction of her galing!
      For me, the fate of Bulusan Volcano embraces both the grand and the personal. Grand as whether we as Bulusanons can be the stewards of this amazing gift of nature and personal as whether I can still drink that ‘champagne of tap waters’ in the years to come:)

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