AMPLE water supply is not always an assurance in highly urbanized cities like Baguio due to continues increase on the demand pushing local water supply utilities to look for possible sources that would augment the need of the consumers.
In the Summer Capital, the Baguio Water District is awaiting the result of feasibility studies being conducted by at least three private firms proposing for bulk water project as deep wells and watersheds in the city are being encroached.
The bulk water system project in Baguio City is seen as a long term solution to water shortage. The nearby towns of La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, Tublay – all in the province of Benguet - were anticipated as sources of water for the project.
In an interview with BWD General Manager Salvador Royeca, he said Baguio City is facing a serious water problem and this will get worse if population continues to grow at its current rate with no sustainable solutions for water management put in place.
Royeca said there are four companies signifying interest to conduct feasibility study on Baguio’s bulk water project but only three have submitted their papers asking for technical assistance from the water district.
Royeca mentioned the three firms include: Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad) providing water and wastewater services in the West Zone of Metropolitan Manila, the Ayala-led Manila Water Company providing water services over the East Zone of Metro Manila; and, Prime Water Infrastructure Corporation in Las Pinas, Manila which is owned by former Senator Manny Villar.
The Bulk Water Supply Project was conceptualized in 1997. It was envisioned to be a joint venture undertaking with a private company to supply the city with its daily needs of 50,000 cubic meters then.
Royeca said the daily demand of water has increased to 55, 000 cubic meters but only 45, 000 cubic meters of water is being delivered by the utility to its consumers. During peak tourism season, an additional 5, 000 cubic meters of water is needed daily.