Davao City needs new water source before 2019

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 8 Wed) – The Davao City Water District (DCWD) needs to explore more sources of water that can be tapped to immediately crank up the supply of clean and potable water for the next two years other than P10-billion worth bulk water supply project of Apo Agua Infrastructura Inc. that will come by 2019.

Lawyer Bernardo D. Delima Jr., DCWD spokesperson, told “Wednesdays at Habi at Kape” at Abreeza Mall that there is an exponential rise in the number of new water connections, unexpectedly hitting their 10-percent annual growth rate before the first semester of 2016 ends.

From 2015’s 198,000 customers, he said the number of water connections has grown so far to about 220,000. Delima added they project the number would rise to 260,000 by the end of the year. He attributed the increase to the exodus of people who migrate to the city.

He attributed the increase to the exodus of people who migrate to the city.

“We are expecting connections to rise because Davao City is being visited due to the presence of the (incoming) president (Rodrigo R. Duterte). People are expecting to find residence here,” he said.

Delima said the city’s water consumption in 2014 was only at 98.149 million cubic meter and is projected to reach 117.265 million cubic meter by 2019 while the DCWD’s annual demand is only at 104 million cubic meters.

“We can still provide that volume but we might be needing more when 2017 sets in but we need the Tamugan project to finish earlier,” he said, referring to Apo Agua’s project in the Tamugan River.

“Assuming we don’t look for (other) sources, our water supply will be insufficient. There is a necessity to look for other sources before 2019,” he said

The city has a total of 57 productions wells, much of it dependent on the ground water sources in Dumoy, Tugbok, Cabantian, and Panacan water systems at about 99.7 percent and very little on the surface water.

Delima said the entry of Apo Agua Infrastructura Inc., a joint venture between Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) and J.V. Angeles Construction Corporation (JVACC), will reverse the current mix.

This new project is still in stage of securing permits while actual construction is expected early 2017.

By 2019, he said only 10 production wells will be running while resting the 47 others to allow them time to replenish. However, he said the DCWD will gradually operate by at least 10 more every five years starting 2025 to meet the increasing demand.

Exploration stopped

Delima added they have temporarily stopped the exploration of new wells after the recent failed attempts to find new sources in Panacan and Cabantian areas due to water “quality and quantity” issues.

He added exploration will resume either by the last quarter of 2015 or first quarter of 2017.

But three new wells – 38, 39, and 40 – will be activated in Dumoy that can supply about 15,000 cubic meters a day.

Dumoy has potential new aquifers because of its proximity to the country’s highest peak, Mt. Apo, according to Delima.

He announced that starting July 2016 they will implement fees adjustment for the ancillary services such as new service connection, reconnection, transfer meter, service charge and meter maintenance.

New service connection will be P3,900 from P3,000, reconnection to P300 from P200, transfer meter for primary connection to P1,600 from P1,500, and meter maintenance to P25 from P21.

He said a P4 increased in meter maintenance will be reflected on the consumers’ monthly bill starting August 2016.