Rain catchment systems might improve Davao’s water supply – councilor

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 March) – Councilor Leonardo Avila III said the proper implementation of the rain catchment ordinance might improve the water supply in areas with low water pressure through the use of potable water by using alternative sources.

Speaking at Monday’s Kapehan sa SM, Avila said the low water pressure in several parts of the city could be attributed to the reliance of residents to the city’s water supply provided by the Davao City Water District.

The ordinance requires new buildings to build rain catchment systems before their applications for building permits could be approved.

Residents would reduce the use of potable water for activities like washing their dishes or clothes.

The ordinance was passed in 2010, with the implementing rules and regulations already in place since 2013.

Avila said the second district is still affected by low water pressure.

Last week, DCWD spokesperson Bernardo Delima said in a telephone interview that the low water pressure in some areas in the city is due to a lower water distribution rate because of a smaller temporary pipe being used after the original one they installed collapsed at the Generoso Bridge in 2012.

Delima said they intend to increase the diameters of their distribution pipes within the year, before the surface water project is developed as a partnership between JV Angeles and Aboitiz Equity at Tamugan.

The DCWD official said the pipes had to be replaced before the development is completed because the existing lines could not accommodate the rise in water pressure because of the surface water project.

“The surface water project would be run by gravity,” Delima said. “If we keep the old lines, they would burst once we rely on the upcoming project.”

The city council has yet to decide on another water supply application, this time by HelpMate, which aims to distribute water to the second district.

In an earlier interview, Councilor Louie John Bonguyan said the developer reportedly wants to supply water in barangays such as Cabantian, Indangan, Communal, Acacia, Sasa, Tibungco, Bunawan and Lasang.

Bonguyan chairs the energy committee.

HelpMate aims to tap the Davao river for its surface water project.

The energy committee chair said barangay captains reportedly said the DCWD’s supply was not enough and that they were longing for a water supply that would give them water 24/7.

Delima has strongly opposed HelpMate’s application, questioning the absence of a distribution line that could be tapped by HelpMate.

Bonguyan said that the developer would be creating its own facilities if it gets the nod from the council.

HelpMate would still need to ask for an approval from agencies like the Department of Health and the Philippine Standards for Drinking Water, with the process taking at least a year.

“If the DCWD had a continuous supply of water for the residents of the Buhangin district,” Bonguyan said, “there would be no clamor from the barangay captains.”