April 20, 2024
RAINWATER HARVESTING FACILITY — City Mayor Benjamin Magalong inspected the ongoing repair of the rainwater harvesting basins at the Busol Watershed together with Baguio Water District officials and DPWH engineers, as the mayor is working closely with the BWD to ensure adequate supply of water amid the extended El Niño. — Contributed photo

Mayor Benjamin Magalong lauded the efforts of the Baguio Water District (BWD) to put in place measures to mitigate the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

“We are grateful that the district is fast-tracking its water augmentation programs to ensure continuous water supply ahead of the expected impact of the drought and dry spell which according to the Pagasa will peak in April 2024,” the mayor said.

He recently inspected the ongoing repair of the rainwater harvesting basins at the Busol Watershed together with BWD officials and Dept. of Public Works and Highways engineers.

During his visit to the watershed, the mayor requested the BWD and agencies in charge of safeguarding Busol and other watersheds to ensure that there are no intrusions by informal settlers into the remaining forested portion of the watershed to protect and preserve the city’s water table in view of the El Nino problem and the continuing threat of climate change.

In response to the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. for agencies to carry out measures to cushion the effects of the El Niño, BWD General Manager Salvador Royeca said the water utility is currently streamlining its ongoing development projects and expressed confidence that they can complete the ongoing water supply development and expansion projects in preparation for the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

Royeca reportedly called upon the concerned technical divisions of the water utility to revisit and submit their contingency plans for the El Niño and issued a marching order to expedite all various well-drilling and pipe laying projects to counter the effects of the dry spell.

“Additionally, comprehensive monitoring of BWD’s groundwater and open water sources has already been performed to ensure equitable water distribution starting this Yuletide season up to next year’s dry season when visitors and tourists flock to this side of the country,” the utility said.

Royeca said completing these projects will help mitigate the effects of El Niño.

“Implementing these contingency procedures for BWD’s summer operations is done annually and typically normal, we just fine-tune everything so that it will be adaptive to the external pressures such as this projected El Niño phenomenon,” Royeca said.

The BWD’s ongoing water resource exploration projects include the drilling projects along Montinola Subdivision (Kisad Road), Ramsey in Bakakeng Central, South Drive 2, Richwood (Guisad Road) and Zig-Zag, Kennon Road.

Additionally, “pipe laying and expansion activities programmed to augment the water supply in identified water-challenged areas, especially during the driest months include the Marcos Highway-Suello-Asin pipeline expansion, upsizing of Crystal Cave mainline, Pias-Camp 7 mainline extension, and the recently completed developments namely Bengao Road-Marcos Highway Tank upsizing of booster line and the Balacbac Road mainline upsizing project,” the district said. – Aileen P. Refuerzo