By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Baguio City Councilor Peter Fianza during the regular session of the Sangguniang Panlunsod (SP) on Monday, June 9, said that the Baguio Water District (BWD) should be setting the guidelines to safe guard the city’s aquifers or the underground water sources.
Fianza told the invited representatives of BWD that should the city government make the guidelines and turns out to be conflicting with the national water laws according to the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) then it would be useless. “We would like you to consider coming up with proper guidelines in consonance with the water code ordinance of the city,” said the councilor.
BWD’s Assistant General Manager for Administration and Finance Marissa Heredero said that the district actually submitted its guideline on underground water sources to NWRB as early as the 90’s. She said that in the early 2000’s, BWD again submitted a revised set of guidelines. She said that they are still waiting for updates from the board on the status of their proposed underground water rules.
According to BWD General Manager Salvador Royeca, the current demand of water supply is around 60,000 cubic meters per day covering all the residential houses of Baguio. In their presentation, BWD stated that they are currently serving 122 barangays with 37,000 active connections leaving 6 unserved.
Royeca said that they are currently suffering from a deficit of water supply. He said that the district is now facing challenges such as the depletion of the city’s water supply because of development. He said that almost 70% of the total land area of Baguio is already developed and only 30% still have pine trees and are grasslands. He stressed the declining forest cover of the city such as the Busol watershed where concrete structures are fast mushrooming.
He said that one of the biggest problems of BWD is the proliferation of private deep wells. The other he said is the exquisite demand due to population growth and the influx of transients; the effects of climate change; and the destruction of the water sources.
Fianza stressed that the local government unit of Baguio is cooperating with BWD and is not intending to interfere with its operational functions. He asked BWD through Royeca to supply the council with reports on the history of water supply and demands. # nordis.net