Construction to drive up water consumption

A supplier of water solutions urged local governments to exert more efforts inpreserving the country’s rivers. (SunStar File Photo) Some children still take a dip in the Butuanon from time to time, although it’s a far cry from the clear water that their grandparents used to swim in. (SunStar Foto Allan Cuizon)

A water technology solutions provider is urging local officials to seriously implement policies that protect and preserve the environment.

Antonio Camelo Tompar, chairman of Mactan Rock Industries Inc. (MRII), said a rapidly growing population and booming economy will drive high water consumption in Cebu.

He expects demand for water will go up this year, on the back of the accelerated developments in the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Cebu.

“Opportunities to provide water supply abound this year. You’ve seen all the buildings being erected, and all of them need water,” he said, referring to the non-stop construction of condominiums, subdivisions, hotels and resorts, office towers and commercial spaces.

The current water demand of Metro Cebu’s over one million population is now at 400,000 cubic meters (cu.m) per day.

But while opportunities are high, Tompar is more concerned about the water situation of the country.

During his presentation at the International River Summit in November 2018, Tompar said his company had already tapped 25 rivers in the country as water sources but he noted that a few of these rivers had to be abandoned because they were too polluted.

Tompar, whose bulk water supply business goes beyond Cebu, said the local government units (LGU) play a crucial role in addressing issues confronting river ecosystems.

“We need to take care of our rivers so we can continue to enjoy not only abundant but safe and clean water,” he said. “But we are already seeing more LGUs implementing policies and programs for a sustainable environment.”

Moreover, Tompar said it will revive its efforts in helping tourism establishments in Panglao, Bohol fix their waste water disposal system.

“We are going to revive the joint efforts with Panglao industry players. We will help them sustain Panglao beaches’ health,” he said.

Last month, the Department of Tourism barred tourists and locals from swimming on Alona Beach in Panglao, Bohol and Buena Suerte Beach in El Nido, Palawan.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Panglao’s Alona yielded a coliform count of 16,000 most probable number (mpn) while Buena Suerte in El Nido had 1,300 mpn.

The normal water quality for beaches is 100 mpn, while swimming pools usually have 400 mpn.

Prior to the closure of Boracay, MRII had expressed its willingness to set up waste treatment facilities for small businesses in Panglao Island via build-own-operate-management. (KOC)


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