AN ENVIRONMENTALIST group said Dabawenyos are “wasting too much water”, which could be used especially during El Niño.
Interface Development Interventions (Idis) said that over 100,000 liters of rainwater could be harvested in Davao City each year if every household or business establishment installs a 50-square-meter roof catchment for rainwater, as mandated by the Rainwater Harvesting Ordinance that was enacted back in 2009.
Idis managing trustee Mary Ann Fuentes said the flood water that the city’s urban district catches during heavy rains could have been utilized for non-potable usage, such as flushing toilets, laundry, washing dishes and cars.
“Sayang kasi ang ating groundwater, which is drinkable, if ato lang siya gamiton for non-potable usage,” Fuentes said Monday, March 25, during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao.
She said that although the Davao City Water District (DCWD) assured that the city currently continues to enjoy adequate water supply from the aquifers of Talomo-Lipadas watershed, Dabawenyos should conserve water as Mindanao braces for the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.
The DCWD reported that water consumption increased to 320 million liters per day due to the rising number of commercial establishments, including laundry shops.
Fuentes admitted that acquiring a rainwater catchment facility might be costly, but she said it has a long-term benefit.
Idis research specialist Lemuel Manalo said compliance to the ordinance has been poor among business establishments, according to a partnership survey conducted by the group and the Ateneo de Davao in 2014 and 2018.
Manalo said only 24 out of the 100 building establishments, or 24 percent, had a rainwater catchment facility in 2014 while 26 out of the 100 newly-opened establishments, or 26 percent, complied in 2018.
“We urge the establishments and the LGU (local government unit), not only the big commercial establishments, but including the household levels, to have a rainwater catchment system,” he said.
Meanwhile, Idis founder Arnold Vandenbroeck is also urging high-rise buildings to comply with the ordinance.