July 23, 2024
WATER HARVESTING FACILITY — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR led by RED Paquito Moreno,Jr., Ecosystems Research Development Bureau Watershed and Water Resources Research and Development Center and John Hay Management Corporation led by President and CEO Marlo Quadra signed a memorandum of agreement on June 7 for the development of surface run-off water harvesting facility. — Contributed photo

The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau-Watershed and Water Resources Research Development and Extension Center (ERDB-WWRRDEC) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will signed a memorandum of agreement with the John Hay Management Corporation on June 7 to explore the potential of a surface water catchment project within Camp John Hay.

The center, headed by Helen Maddumba, said the agreement will consist of three phases. Phase 1 will involve the conduct of research on the potential of John Hay’s watershed area to be a site for catchment of surface or runoff water.

In this stage, there will be assessment to characterize the watershed’s potential and the volume of water it can provide.

Once it is found out the area has potential, the second phase will be conducted, which is the development of facilities to catch water that will take advantage of the high volume of water the city receives, given its being the area in the country that receives the highest volume of rainfall.

The development of catchment facilities will lead to the third phase, which is linking with the Baguio Water District that will distribute water to nearby and other barangays in the city.

The surface water catchment undertaking is among the projects of the center in the pipeline and hoping to be allotted budget within the year.

The assessment will take around one year, which aims to study the dry and wet season conditions of the watershed. If the area is found feasible for development of water catchment facilities, it can be put up within two to three years.

All the data collected from the field will be overlaid on a map to visualize the scenario on the ground and will serve as the basis for designing the project.

DENR-CAR Executive Director Paquito Moreno, in a press conference on June 3, said department is trying to come up with innovative ways by which water can be sourced, which is to go beyond drilling underground.

“Remember the belief Baguio City has the highest rainfall throughout the country. The problem is how can we catch that rainfall and deliver it to the households. We go beyond just drilling and extracting water from the ground. Why don’t we expand what we have, (with the facility at) Sto. Tomas as model? Perhaps what can come out with from the John Hay experiment is to see if it is possible to scale it up for the situation of Baguio City or elsewhere,” he said.

Additional details found on the DENR website stated the proposed project was presented to key officials of JHMC and BWD in a meeting on Jan. 11 together with DENR Integrated Science and Supervising Undersecretary for ERDB, Dr. Carlos Primo C. David, who together with the ERDB technical team explained the project intends to develop a localized green-gray infrastructure to collect the excess water during the rainy season, which will later be used by Baguio City beneficiaries in the dry season.

During the meeting, stakeholders committed to support the ERDB-WWRRDEC team in implementing the project. – Hanna C. Lacsamana