February 9, 2023

Council  Betty Lourdes Tabanda has called on concerned offices to create guidelines for the establishment of water pumping stations to increase the water supply in the city.

In a resolution passed on April 5, Tabanda requested the Baguio Water District to coordinate with the City Engineering Office, the City Buildings and Architecture Office, the City Planning and Development Office, the Environment and Parks Management Office, and the Department of Public Works and Highways-CAR for formulation of guidelines.

Tabanda said the BWD is looking for sites that may serve as water sources to adequately meet the city’s water demand.

She observed that water pumping stations have been established in various areas in the city including parks, thus asserting the need for a thorough assessment where they should be placed strategically. This is to ensure compliance with zoning policies and other regulations of the city in relation to other developments, she said.

The city is expected to experience water shortage this summer due to the depletion of groundwater reservoirs.

The city’s declining water supply has prompted the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) earlier this year to look into the problem of illegal deep wells which could be contributing to the water shortage.

Last month, Mayor Benjamin Magalong and BWD General Manager Salvador Royeca agreed to take measures to address the water shortage in the city and urged the residents to observe water conservation practices.

The Baguio officials earlier requested the NWRB to require all water-related activity proponents in the city to secure water permit or clearance from the city government prior to NWRB’s issuance of a water permit, stating that the NWRB and the city government share the responsibility of regulating water-related activities and allocate sufficient water for use of residents.

Under Resolution 133 s. 2021, the city council stated there is a need for the NWRB and the local government to address the shortage of water supply in the city.

The council disclosed that the city does not have a large and steady source of water and that it relies solely on natural springs, deep wells, and rainwater catchment for its water supply.

In 2019, the city council in a resolution reached out to the BWD expressing concern about the increasing drilling activities of private deep well operators in the city and the over-extraction of wells contributing to the depletion of the city’s aquifers. – Jordan G. Habbiling with reports from Aileen Refuerzo