Tungtong River Conservation Project

an environmental advocacy of the Holistic Education and Development Center

Category: Water quality

Future environmental chemists: ES7 class participates in water quality monitoring

The Environmental Science Grade 7 class of HEDCen (AY 2013-2014) went to the river last October 10, 2013 and checked the pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, total dissolved solids and salinity of the river.

Along the road and down the trail.. we follow the river as it flows..

The trek to the river is in itself full of fun and adventure.  The students were given field lectures when interesting flora and fauna are encountered.  The little bit of rappelling down to the river basin was enough to thrill even the most out-going of the children.  Safety was, of course, our top priority but a very close second is the sense of wonder and respect for nature that should be inherent in every outdoor trip.

The photos have been archived at the TRCP Facebook page (follow this link).

Dipping instruments, getting wet.. Doing science and having fun..  Is there any other way to learn?

This class is part of TRCP’s campaign to educate Filipino youth into tomorrow’s environmentalists at the same time gathering vital data in its effort to regularly monitor the water quality of the Tungtong River.  As these young ones learn the basics of water ecology, it is hoped that they also develop that passion to pursue a career centered around preserving what’s left of our Philippine environment.

The photos have been archived at the TRCP Facebook page (follow this link).

Working hard, playing hard, laughing hard.. Just another day in HEDCen’s Tungtong River Conservation Program

TRCP seeks to actualize HEDCen’s motto of “Better People, Better Earth.”  This task is quite easy especially when children have already warmed up to the desire to do something concrete for their Mother Earth.  Trips to the river- whether to get scientific data, to haul trash, or to simply paint a picture have always been one of the most anticipated highlights to a HEDCen child’s regular school year.  We at TRCP pray that the desire to be with Mother Nature continues to grow in their child-like hearts even as they become adults and leaders of this country.

The photos have been archived at the TRCP Facebook page (follow this link).

Water Group Methodology

1.Flow rate

  • Waterfall
  1. A 1000mL graduated cylinder and a stopwatch are recommended.
  2. Parallel to the direction of the flow, the cylinder is briefly exposed to the moving water until the volume reaches a substantial amount without overflowing.
  3. The time required to reach the substantial amount less than 1000mL and the volume of this amount will be recorded.
  4. Steps 2 & 3 would be repeated until 5 measurements are obtained.
  5. The average of these measurements would be taken and considered as the average flow rate.
  • River segment
  1. A standardized floating device and a stopwatch are to be used.
  2. The float will be released from a certain point of the river segment.
  3. The float’s travel time to another point downstream of the river segment will be recorded.
  4. The used distance for the 2 points is 5 meters.
  5. Steps 2 & 3 would be repeated until 5 measurements are obtained.
  6. The average of these measurements would be taken and considered as the average flow rate.

2. Mapping

  • River segments
  1. A magnetic compass, a transect tape (15-meters long), and a T-pole are recommended.
  2. Using the magnetic compass, the bearing of each river segment is recorded.
  3. Segments are 15-meters long each but have varying widths.
  4. The width obtained for the segment is perpendicular to the bearing.
  5. In the case of the river segment containing parts of the river that branch, the average width of the branches and the main segment is used.
  6. Widths of the ends and middle of the segment are obtained.
  7. When the transect tape has been established, the depth of the segment along the transect tape is obtained using the T-pole in centimeters.
  8. Steps 2 to 7 are the same for obtaining further segments.
  • Basin depth
  1. A transect tape with a weight attached and a sextant are required.
  2. Using the transect tape, the midpoint of the basin’s width is determined.
  3. The bearing is obtained perpendicular to the width.
  4. The transect line is extended across the basin.
  5. The midpoint of the basin’s length is obtained.
  6. From the midpoint the basin’s length, a weight attached to the end of the transect tape is released to the bottom.
  7. The length of the transect tape, attached to the weight, to the point of reference where the width and bearing of the transect line was established, will be recorded.
  8. The angle of the length with respect to the water surface will be recorded.
  9. Samples of step 8 will be obtained until there is a set of 3 relatively consistent values.
  10. The 3 relative values obtained in step 9 would be averaged.
  11. The length obtained in step 7 will be multiplied to the sine of the angle in step 11 to obtain the depth of the basin’s midpoint.

Water Group Data: Flow Rate and Mapping

1. Flow Rate

  • Waterfall
Trial Volume (mL) Time (s) Flow rate (mL/s)
1 650 1.67 389.22
2 600 1.09 550.46
3 990 0.84 1178.57
4 780 0.56 1392.86
5 770 0.69 1115.94

Average flow rate: 925.41 mL/s

Trial Volume (mL) Time (s) Flow rate (mL/s)
1 920 0.83 1108.43
2 820 0.99 828.28
3 895 1.02 877.45
4 935 1.08 865.74
5 918 0.97 946.39

Average flow rate: 925.26 mL/s

  • River Segment
Trial Distance (m) Travel time (s) Flow rate (m/s)
1 5 6.34 0.79
2 5 9.40 0.53
3 5 9.54 0.52
4 5 9.07 0.55
5 5 10.49 0.48

2. Mapping

  • River Segments

Segment 1

Bearing: 95° East

Widths (m):        Starting pt:          4.00

Middle pt:           4.68

End pt:  4.50

Meter rank (m) Depth (cm)
0 0
1 15
2 11
3 8
4 6
5 3
6 3
7 4
8 8
9 14
10 18
11 25
12 29
13 9
14 14
15 19

Segment 2

Bearing: 70° East

Widths (m):        Starting pt:          3.57

Middle pt:           2.40

End pt:  4.90

Meter rank (m) Depth (cm)
0 0
1 0
2 10
3 8
4 12
5 14
6 15
7 12
8 32
9 20
10 12
11 0
12 5
13 3
14 0
15 10

Segment 3

Bearing: 60° Northeast

Widths (m):        Starting pt:          4.90

Middle pt:           2.15

End pt:  6.60

Meter rank (m) Depth (cm)
0 33
1 19
2 22
3 0
4 0
5 0
6 0
7 0
8 12
9 0
10 22
11 31
12 30
13 19
14 32
15 30
  • Basin depth

Basin 1 depth = (5.5meters) sin 13.3° = 1.27 meters

Water Group Data: Overview


A river is a flowing body of water which leads to sea, lake, and ocean or to another river. It is a part of the hydrogen cycle. It’s where run-offs usually go and flow with. It also serves as a habitat for animals. A river can have several tributaries. The Tungtong River is an example of a tributary. It leads up to the Pasig River.

The Tungtong river snakes through the towns of Taytay and Cainta, Rizal. It somewhat branching out to the Pasig river. It is the home of over 50 species of birds, butterflies and frogs and many other species.

We would be conducting water monitoring in the Tungtong River throughout the duration of our project. This entails getting the volumetric flow rate and depth of the basin in several areas. We would also do river mapping for the places we were able to visit.

Volumetric flow rate is the volume of water which passes through a given area of the river per unit time. It is usually measured in cubic meters per second.

Bathymetry is the study of underwater depth of lake or ocean floors. Gathered bathymetry data serves as navigational surface information and safety for surface or sub-surface navigation.


To provide a statistical overview about the river’s segments near the school inclusive of flow rates and bathymetric measurements of the water in specific segments of the river.


  • To know the possible characteristics the river may exhibit at certain conditions.
  • In order to know about the varying environmental effects of the different conditions that the river undergoes.

Related Literature:

“In 2003, the UN High Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) established “UN-Water as the inter-agency mechanism for follow-up of the WSSD water-related decisions and the MDGs concerning water”. The scope of UN-Water’s work encompasses all aspects of freshwater, including surface and groundwater resources and the interface between fresh and sea water. It includes freshwater resources, both in terms of their quality and quantity, their development, assessment, management, monitoring and use (including, for example, domestic uses, agriculture and ecosystems requirements). The scope of work of UN-Water also includes sanitation – encompassing both access to and use of sanitation by populations and the interactions between sanitation and freshwater. It further includes water-related disasters, emergencies and other extreme events and their impact on human security. UN-Water is the inter-agency mechanism that promotes coherence in, and coordination of, UN system actions aimed at the implementation of the agenda defined by the Millennium Declaration and the World Summit on Sustainable Development as it relates to its scope of work.”

“The main purpose of UN-Water is thus to complement and add value to existing programmes and projects by facilitating synergies and joint efforts, so as to maximize system-wide coordinated action and coherence as well as effectiveness of the support provided to Member States in their efforts towards achieving the time-bound goals, targets and actions related to its scope of work as agreed by the international community, particularly those contained in the MDGs and the JPOI. One of UN-Water’s tasks is to facilitate inter-agency information exchange, including sharing of experiences and lessons learned, and serve as a clearing house for policy relevant information, assessment and advice on status and trends at global and regional levels, and for providing Member States with a collective point of entry to the system’s initiatives and responses in areas within its purview.”

“Several different visions of monitoring have gradually become accepted over the past decades. Some of those focus, for example, on the performance of projects or specific institutions. Some have the beneficiaries as reference for the analysis, and implement a participatory exercise. Some others use finance as the sole criterion. Still others concentrate on information for senior management decision-making. In recent years the impetus towards monitoring the advancement towards the MDGs, both at the national and the global levels, has acquired decisive prominence.

“Measuring the performance and impact of complex water-related programmes or initiatives is an essential task. In this way, it would be possible to track the actual implementation of all initiatives and promote the integration of various activities into the overall development frameworks. Monitoring per se is concerned with the procedures and activities for collecting data and information in the formulation and implementation stages of an action or a series of initiatives. It is particularly aimed at providing regular feedback to guarantee coherence, efficiency and effectiveness against the underlying objectives set at the national and international levels. This will both stimulate support to the initiatives being implemented, and improve the formulation of the subsequent programmes, through a “learning circle” informed by the lessons drawn from previous and ongoing activities.”

“Proper monitoring will ensure that targets are actually being reached, with disbursements linked to effective achievements. Such programmatic approach entails a continuous and ongoing process of aligning the programmes and expenditure allocations with intended outputs and outcomes, with regular midcourse corrections. Among the examples of consistent monitoring practices, that of the European Union emerges as a good practice. Having well understood the virtues of properly monitoring development policies, including in the domestic water sector, the EU features a long-established monitoring methodology and continuously assesses the results of the whole regional development policy, which would be worthwhile to adapt and adopt for use on a larger scale. Many institutions and organizations at all invest considerable efforts in monitoring water and water-related MDGs. Efforts are needed to streamline existing initiatives, reduce overlaps, enhance coordination along partners and identify gaps for further action in water monitoring.”

“The United Nations system is complex. It is not easy to explain what each agency/programme and initiative does, since each one has its own priorities and procedures; and they are of course not invariant over time. Their role within UN-Water and information on their water related activities is available at WWAP portal hosted at the UNESCO web site. UN-Water members have agreed to work together – sharing information, knowledge and know-how – to improve the understanding of the policies and practices that encourage sustainable use of water resources. The main global water monitoring initiatives are described in details in Annex. There are possibly other water-related dataset held within the UN agencies, which are not public (i.e. not accessible on-line at present). Some databases are not held directly within UN institutions, but they are linked to the UN in various ways. For instance, UNESCO in particular funds or sponsors numerous programmes within universities; some of this data is used in UN reports, such as the World Water Development Report. As such, data is not under the direct control of the agency which commissions it. In this case, uncertainty regarding data quality and UN consistency assessment should be considered. The Water Monitoring Alliance, an initiative of the World Water Council from its portal at www.watermonitoringalliance.”

“Net presents a tool to locate water related data in different regions and for different themes. Data can be searched for within a list of monitoring programmes and related activities, and it is possible to consult the activities sorted by geographical scope, type of activity, or keyword and to consult auxiliary information such as creation date, type, and scope. On its side GWP, proposing and presenting on its forum a list of IWRM websites, also states a value judgment marking some of them with a quality check. The UN-Water corporate information system has to provide the official and highest-quality data and information that is held by the UN system. It is proposed that the UN-Water embraces only those data sets which are of global importance, which obtain data directly from individual countries or reliable sources clearly associated to the UN agency sponsoring them. In whatever modern information system metadata (literally “data about data”) , are a crucial kit to allow a trustworthy use of information, in time and space, and not blind data quality assessment.”

“An important attribute to consider a data set for inclusion it will be so the availability of related metadata, including source and methodology. Metadata have to include the information on where, when, by whom and how (using which methodology) data have been obtained.”


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