Arceo: Call to Action

WATER is a universal need. Its security and sustainability is also a universal responsibility. More so, to the people whose business is selling water. This is a direct call to all water distributors and concessionnaires in Angeles City to participate in replenishing and recharging our water resource. The people of Angeles are also demanding for the Angeles City Water District (ACWD) under the management of PrimeWater Angeles City to launch a reforestation program as a contribution to the ongoing advocacy program for the rehabilitation of the Angeles Watershed. As the biggest water distributor in the city, ACWD must lead other water distributors in helping reforest the city to prevent further depletion of water underground and increase water recharge. To date, all water distributors in Pampanga, Angeles and Clark are pumping water from the ground. We all use groundwater.

Recently, it was said that Balibago Waterworks System, Inc. (BWSI) will be partnering with a Manila-based company, with a plan to generate surface water from the Pampanga River. Either from the Rio Grande Pampanga or the Manila-based company will supply water coming from Angat Dam.

The end-result of this is higher water rates due to added cost in water extraction and distribution. Going back to groundwater extraction, here are some facts that we need to remember:

Fact 1: In its 2017 Water Safety Plan, ACWD reported that it has 34 water pump stations in the city and generates at least 1.6 million cubic meters of water per month. It supplies water to some 266,910 people in the city.

Fact 2: BWSI and Clark Water are also pumping water from the ground.

Fact 3: Many big hotels in Angeles City and subdivisions have been installing pumps to extract water without the necessary permit from the National Water Resources Board (NWRB). The local government units (LGUs) have no authority over these commercial pumps. Only the NWRB can regulate these pump installations but it has limited manpower and resources to monitor everyone.

Fact 4: There are several golf courses inside Clark and in Angeles City - Angeles Sports & Country Club,

Clark Sun Valley Golf and Country Club, FA Korea Country Club, Fontana Leisure Parks Golf Club, Mimosa Golf and Country Club, Air Force City Golf Club, and Royal Garden Golf Club (temporarily closed). All of these golf courses use a huge volume of water. According to the United States Golf Association, an 18-hole golf course is around the size of 70 football fields. For every football field, an average of 325,851 gallons of water is used each time it is being watered. Now, try multiplying that volume by 70. That is how much water they use for every 18-hole golf course.

Fact 5: According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Angeles City’s population in 2020 is 462,928. One person uses a minimum of 98 liters per day and maximum of 100 gallons per day. In a month, this is equivalent to 1.36 million cubic meters of water. This is only for personal use. The water needed for businesses, real estate and golf courses, agriculture and irrigation is not included in the equation.

So it is not rocket science. Everyone is getting water from the ground. Even the water companies are extracting water from the aquifer. But we seldom see them in tree-planting events. These companies must start to realize that in a few years, they might face bigger challenges in supplying water to the city and around the Metro Clark area. It is time to join the water revolution - plant trees at the Angeles watershed and everywhere in the city. Help the Angeles LGU and the Abacan River and Angeles Watershed Advocacy Council, Inc. (ARAW-ACI) in rehabilitating the watershed in Sapangbato. ARAW-ACI started an aggressive campaign in rehabilitating the Angeles watershed in 2019. It is still an ongoing advocacy program.

Following the recommendations from a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), ARAW-ACI spearheaded the reforestation project and offered a sustainable program to the private sector dubbed as the “Adopt-A-Watershed”. JICA says that in 2025, Angeles City, City of San Fernando and nine other cities and municipalities in Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija are among the high risk areas of losing water.

Just two weeks ago, PrimeWater Angeles faced the Sangguniang Panlungsod in a series of committee hearings.

Angeles City Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr. urged the water company to address massive consumer complaints over its inefficient and low-quality water supply. The city council also passed resolution PR-1530-05-22 urging PrimeWater Angeles City to shed light on the worsening water consumer conditions. The company is currently serving a total of 59,425 active service connections in Angeles City with a high of 60,651 consumers as of September 2021. The villages of Amsic and Balibago are not included in their service area.

It is not 2025 yet but the people of Angeles, as well as Porac, are already experiencing water supply problems and rationing. This is the reason why everyone must share the responsibility of replenishing our water source, especially the water distributors. This is a wake-up call.


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