DCWD spokesperson Imelda Magsuci said that the TSWD Project is a "proactive measure in response to the city's looming water crisis." The National Water Resources Board (NWRB ) identified Davao City as one of the "nine water-critical areas in the Philippines where water is consumed intensively."
Magsuci stressed that the Tamugan – Panigan river is the city's last resource of potable water that has the quality and the quantity that could supply the city's future demands.
In a study conducted by independent experts such as Cest Incorported, only the Tamugan -Panigan river met the primary factors such as large flow rates and high quality.
The experts' findings further revealed the following: Lipadas River has superior quality but has a relatively small flow rate; Talomo River has a high risk on contamination and has a small quantity due to a hydropower plant; Davao River is highly turbid and has very high operational costs.
The SK officials' manifesto was issued following Magsuci's explanation about DCWD's objections to co-exist with a private corporation's power plant project along the Tamugan-Panigan River.
Aboitiz-owned Hedcor, Inc. has signified its intention to establish such a facility, and has been moving rapidly to lay its social and physical infrastructure in the contested area.
Magsuci explained that the river cannot afford to simultaneously meet the technical requirements of both utilities. "Aside from the technicalities we cannot compromise the environmental threats that would be caused by HEDCOR's proposed power plant," she added.
Magsuci also pointed out that according to the plan showed by Hedcor, it has to divert the natural terrain of the river in order to augment the flow rate of water needed to operate the hydropower plant. "The operations of Hedcor will affect the availability of water for DCWD," she added.
She said that based on other scientific and independent observations, Hedcor's plan to divert the natural terrain of the Tamugan-Panigan river "will dry up the Talomo River which is a recharge area for Dumoy – this is a source of ground water."
Unlike Hedcor which has the choice of relocating its hydropower plant to some other areas in Mindanao, Magsuci explained to the SK officials that DCWD is limited only within the territory of Davao City. (Sangguniang Kabataan)