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Residents urged to save water due to temporary shortage



Residents of Baguio City are urged to save water amid a temporary water shortage in the city this summer, Baguio Water District (BWD) General Manager Engineer Salvador Royeca said on Tuesday.

Royeca said the lack of rain in the city last year and the low yield from water sources had made water supply tight for the City of Pines, also known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines because of its cool climate.

“Considering the scarcity of rain in the previous year, we might experience temporary water shortage, since the city significantly relies on groundwater as our primary source,” Royeca said.

Royeca said in 2017, the BWD had a recorded daily supply capability of 41,227 cubic meters vis-a-vis the city's demand for water amounting to 41,338 cubic meters.

He said the city's water utility continues to explore additional underground water sources.

Aside from the ongoing drilling operations for possible water source at the Military Cut-off area, eight more proposed drilling projects are in the pipeline for this year, Royeca said.

These, he said, are at Camp 7, Busol-Tiptop, South Drive, Pinesville, Salud Mitra, Kadaklan-Apugan, Outlook, and Loakan.

The scorching heat of the season also contributes to the water shortage in the city, Royeca noted, adding that Baguio's rapid urbanization continuously adds to the number of water users in the city.

The BWD presently operates a total of 70 pumping stations, of which 66 are deep wells and four are spring sources. The rest are rainwater catching facilities.

The water utility serves 122 out of 129 barangays in Baguio, including Tuba town of Benguet province. Tuba is adjacent to Baguio City along Marcos Highway.

The BWD supplies water to a total of 41,974 billed connections.

Royeca said areas hugely affected by the city's water problem this summer are Holy Ghost Extention, Lovena, Yangco Road, Sanitary Camp, Happy Homes Old Lucban, Roman Ayson-Sepic-Gaerlan, Upper and Lower P. Burgos, P. Zamora, Lower Brookside, and Manuel Roxas Trancoville.

Royeca said the BWD would still be distributing water to its consumers evenly and had set up contingency plans for summer.

“Just last year also, we implemented major infrastructure and development projects, including the rehabilitation of the Sto. Tomas Rain Basin (STRB) and the reconstruction of the Busol rain catchment facilities to address the water needs of the city," he said.

The STRB, he said, would augment the supply in the southern part of the city, after the facility is commissioned by the fourth quarter 2018.

Meanwhile, the rehabilitation of the Busol watershed facilities has added 51,642 cubic meters of water source for its surrounding areas.

Royeca said the deepwells at Cabinet Hill, Camp Allen, and Harrison Road had been rehabilitated and re-commissioned to boost BWD's daily production.

In January, he added, the BWD broke ground for its mini-bulk water supply in Badiwan, Tuba, Benguet. The facility, he said, is expected to generate 2,000 to 5,000 cubic meters of water, when it starts to operate by 2019.

Last year, the BWD completed the exploration of the Tam-awan deepwell, which is expected to yield more water for Baguio City’s needs.

Pamela Mariz Geminiano / PNA