Editorial: We can prevent days without water

MANY Dabawenyos served by the Line 2 of Dumoy Water Supply System (WSS) were without water for most part of the weekend.

According to the Davao City Water District water supply for the areas served by this line had to be temporarily shut off "to give way to the emergency repair of the 800mm diameter steel pipeline at La Vista Monte Phase 2 in Bangkal."

Initially the DCWD announced that water interruptions will only be for 24 hours, from Friday to Saturday. However, due to external factors like the weather and the repair itself, the water interruption went beyond the set time.

While water returned to some areas after 48 hours, some areas continued to experience no water until Monday, November 11.

"Some areas in the city, particularly in the elevated portions of Sasa, Pampanga, Lanang, Panacan, and Buhangin, as reported, continue to experience poor water supply especially during peak hours since our water system has not fully recovered," DCWD deputy spokesperson Jovana Cresa Duhaylungsod said.

The extension of the water interruption has caused both disruption and discomfort for Dabawenyos. We saw on social media the sentiments of Dabawenyos who were not prepared for the extended water interruption. Many complained of how they were running out of stored water.

Eventually, the water returned in some areas of the city on Sunday morning. We commend the DCWD for doing the very best they can to ensure that water service returned to these areas. We also commend the agency for deploying water rations to areas affected. However, hopefully in the future we can do things better.

For DCWD, it can prevent long days without water by continually upgrading its infrastructure to something sturdier. It may also want to invest in power generators so it will not keep on implementing emergency water interruptions when there is no power in some areas.

For us end users, this is a lesson to store water that is more than enough.

However, there is one way that we can minimize the impact of long water interruptions. This is through catching water.

Currently, Davao City has a Rainwater Harvesting Ordinance. The ordinance, which was authored by the late city councilor Leo Avilla III, seeks to promote sustainability through the use of harvest water for industrial and non-drinking purposes.

In the City Wide Social Survey Series (CWSS) 9 of the Ateneo de Davao University (Addu), results show that not many Dabawenyos are compliant with the ordinance. Interface Development Interventions (Idis) Inc. also said awareness for the ordinance was quite low. The environmental group also pointed out that not many establishments have their own rain water harvesting system (RWHS).

If Dabawenyos start to comply with the Rainwater Harvesting Ordinance and are made more aware of it, they could have additional water for non-potable uses during times when there is a water interruption.

By following this simple ordinance, we can mitigate the impacts of long periods of water interruption.


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