Davao’s water district seeks exempton from watershed development ban

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 Feb) – The Davao City Water District (DCWD) will be seeking exemption from the ban on development at one of the city’s watersheds in Tamugan to pursue its joint venture with Aboitiz Equities and JV Angeles regarding the development of a surface water facility.

DCWD spokesperson Bernard de Lima said the project would provide water for the second district, which has long experienced a drought because of its water supply coming from the pumps at downhill Dumoy.

The project would also create four 1,500-cubic-meter water reservoirs in Cabantian, Panacan, Indangan and Talandang.

De Lima said the city would benefit more from the development instead of pushing for the construction of the application of HelpMate to develop a similar project, this time at the Davao River.

The DCWD official said the joint venture project was approved as a public-private partnership under the 2008 National Economic Development Agency (NEDA) guidelines.

The water utility’s role, De Lima said, was to apply for a permit to build the facility.

The city government’s watershed code prohibits any development in the zones within identified watersheds, including rivers.

However, De Lima said the spirit of the law is to protect the city’s water source. “This is a project that would provide water,” he said.

The facility would bring “Dumoy-quality” water to the second district, he added.

Last month, the committee on energy at the city council said it is still seeking the advice of the National Water Resource Board (NWRB) regarding HelpMate’s request to develop a water supply system in the Buhangin District.

Councilor Louie John Bonguyan said the developer is seeking to supply water to Cabantian, Indangan, Communal, Acacia, Sasa, Tibungco, Bunawan and Lasang.

Meanwhile, De Lima said construction of the pipes connecting the diversion road water supply pipes to the ones at Bajada via Bacaca road has been awarded to Patawaran Construction, a Manila-based contractor.

The contractor, according to De Lima, was already processing its permit requirements.

“They can begin their pipe laying once the notice to proceed is completed,” De Lima said.