Stakeholders together with the Environmental Management Bureau are pushing for Bued River to be a water quality management area.
As a managed area, the Bued River will be given priority for protection by improving and keeping the quality of water good. It becomes a responsibility of the Regional Development Council, National Water Resources Board, local government units, non-government organizations, communities, business, industries and other sectors within the area.
Chief Raul Cubangay of EMB-CAR's Water Quality Management Section told in a climate change forum the proposal will be defended in their central office November this year.
He added they are expecting that upon compliance of the necessary adjustments and requirements, the Department Order approving Bued River as WQMA will come out by January 2015.
The proposed coverage of Bued WQMA lists 23 barangays in the southern portion of Baguio City; portions of barangays Camp 1, 3, 4, Tabaan Sur, Twin Peaks and Poblacion in Tuba, Benguet; and portions of barangays Virac and Ampucao in Itogon, Benguet.
At present, Bued river is used for irrigation, fishery, domestic, industrial and recreational purposes.
However, Cubangay revealed they have been seeing impurities in the water.
He noted threats that could possibly lead to the destruction of water quality of the river include siltation caused by natural and man-made resources, solid waste disposal, industrial wastes, untreated sewages and constrictions.
Currently, the EMB and stakeholders are focused on fulfilling tasks that will help in the approval and implementation of Bued WQMA.
They will be conducting LGU Local Water Quality Task Force Periodic meetings and monthly WQMA meetings.
Additional water quality monitoring stations will also be put up by the EMB in coordination with the stakeholders. Cubangay said they are targeting more than 28 more additional along Baguio City to Tuba, Benguet.
These stations will be used in the monthly monitoring of the water quality of the river. The agencies involved will also administer survey and mapping of Bued river catchment.
Continuous rehabilitation of the Bued river may not only improve the quality of water but the benefits as well.
From propagation and growth of fish and other aquatic resources, recreational and manufacturing purposes, the river may possibly supply water to the barangays it covers.
The establishment and designation of a WQMA is provided in the Clean Water Act of 2004 or the Republic Act 9275.
So far, there are 18 designated WQMA in the country including the Balili River, which covers portions of Baguio City, La Trinidad and Sablan.