City to pursue program to save Busol Watershed
The city government will pursue the “Baguio blue walk project,” a three-pronged environmental program envisioned for the conservation of the critical Busol watershed, augmentation of the water supply by harnessing surface water and restoration of the river tributaries of the forest reserve.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Oct. 4 led teams from the offices of the City Planning and Development Coordinator and the City Environment and Parks Management to an ocular inspection of the watershed preparatory to drafting the technical plans for the project.
Magalong said the project was hatched to address the long-time problems on squatting and water supply shortage at the Busol watershed, which is the biggest source of potable water in the city, and the pollution of the Balili River.
Cepmo head Rhenan Diwas and City Planning Office coordinator Donna Tabangin said the program took shape upon the mayor’s order for the conceptualization of the Busol Watershed Management Plan which gave rise to the planned creation of the Community-Based Watershed Management Area that integrates community participation and engagement in watershed conservation.
Since then, the city has been conducting engagements with the watershed occupants on the plan and has done public scoping, social profiling, and technical survey of the area.
During the inspection, the group toured the perimeter of the watershed and inspected the water sources, including the water recharging and rainwater harvesting facilities.
They also focused on the surface water sources, the utilization of which the city aims to optimize to address the growing demand of households.
The program will also include the clean-up and restoration of the creeks and tributaries of the Balili River to their natural and habitable state, the city officials said. – Aileen P. Refuerzo