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Issue of March 25, 2018

by Hanna C. Lacsamana

The Baguio Water District has appealed to the concerned agencies to assure that watersheds are protected and to prevent the continuous depletion of water sources in the city.

In one of the editions of the Talakayan sa Environment Code this month aired over Radyo Pilipinas, BWD General Manager Salvador Royeca expressed concern about well drilling activities by some private individuals in the city that affects their water sources.

He said that BWD has opposed some of the ongoing drilling activities, but the National Water Resources Board has the mandate to issue water drilling rights and permits to applicants.
Royeca said parts of the city have many water sources, but water levels are low because of the operation of private deep wells.

The water district opposes private deepwells because it hampers efforts to improve water supply to consumers, which normally becomes limited during summer when demand and consumption is high.

He hopes that proper agencies could help the BWD in bringing the concern to the attention of the national government, especially to NWRB.

He also appealed for the strict implementation of the provisions of the Environment Code pertaining to watershed preservation to protect the remaining forest covers of the city that are crucial in BWD’s mandate to meet the city’s water supply requirements.

Kung gagawin talaga natin ang ating trabaho, mami-minimize ang mga issues gaya ng encroachment sa mga watersheds. Although it is not part of our mandate, we want that watersheds and the remaining forest covers are protected,” Royeca said.

BWD is one of the active supporters and contributors of the Busol Watershed fencing projects.

In line with efforts to boost water supply, Royeca said BWD has completed new deep wells and rehabilitated existing ones, particularly along Tam-awan in Quezon Hill, the watersheds at Camp 8 and Tiptop in Gibraltar.

Through the more than P300 million grant from the national government, Royeca said BWD has recently finished the rehabilitation of the Sto. Tomas rain basin and rainwater harvesting facility, which is eyed for operation by next year.

A new rainwater harvesting facility in Busol Watershed is also ongoing construction and is now 50 percent complete.

Major rehabilitation of some pipeline systems as well as the bulk water supply from Badiwan spring in Tuba, Benguet are also ongoing.

“The overall purpose of all these projects is to really improve production capability of the water district,” Royeca said.