MITIGATION measure are being done by the Baguio Water District to assure the supply of water this summer season.

In the weekly “Ugnayan sa Environmental Code” forum, BWD General Manager Salvador Royeca explained the present undertakings being done by the district to assure ample water supply in the summer season where tourists are expected to sure upping the water supply of Baguio City.

"At present, our major infrastructure project involves the full rehabilitation of the rain water harvesting facility at Mount Santo Tomas which is projected to be realized in 2019. We are now finishing the construction and completion of the Busol watershed area which is fully supported by the Baguio Regreening Movement and the City Government, and is now fifty percent complete," Royeca said.

The City's Water District is in the process of constructing deep wells in the Tam-awan village, T. Alonzo, Camp 8 watershed along Military Cut-off, and at the Tip-top area near the Busol watershed area.

"At the moment, we are undergoing with the P300 million peso grant from the national government for the major rehabilitation of our pipeline subsystem 5 and 6at area 3 which covers the Pacdal area, while the bulk water supply project at the Badiwan springs at Tuba, Benguet is expected to be felt next year," he added.

The local water District identified areas of Pacdal, Aurora Hill and Ferguson to have the least supply of water but hopes to improve the situation after the full rehabilitation and construction of the mitigation projects.

On the issue of encroachment, the local government, the Cordillera office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-CAR), the Baguio Water District (BWD) and the Baguio Regreening Movement earlier assured to respect prior rights of residents within the 112-hectare portion of the Busol watershed, within the jurisdiction of the city.

"Although it is not the mandate of the water district to prevent the entry of would be settlers and encroachments within the watershed area of the City, we continue to do measures to prevent its entry such as the deployment of security personnel to guard against encroachments and fencing of the area. Encroachments by certain individuals is to be dealt with the Regional Environment and Natural Resources Department,"Royeca said.

224 hectares of the Busol watershed is within the jurisdiction of the capital town of La Trinidad, Benguet, while the 112 hectare is located within the jurisdiction of the city.

The local government of Baguio applied adjustments in the implementation of the fencing project to provide appropriate right-of-way for individuals who acquired prior rights over the land they currently occupy.

The DENR-Cordillera earmarked P18 million to jump start the implementation of the Busol watershed fencing project while the local government added an allocation of at least P10 million to protect the remaining portions of the watershed not yet invaded by informal settlers.

Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan admitted the existence of titles issued to private individuals occupying portions of the watershed even before the issuance of the Proclamation declaring the 336-hectare watershed as a forest reservation.