THE Baguio Water District (BWD) has commissioned another deepwell in Baguio City to increase the availability of water in Area 3 of the water district.
Commissioned in barangay Gibraltar, the newly activated Gibraltar deepwell will be utilized to reduce the load of the BWD Busol Tiptop deepwell and Pacdal water source which caters to the water needs in areas including Pacdal, Ambuklao, Gibraltar, North Outlook Drive, Leonardwood, and Navy Base, among others.
With the new deepwell in operation, the Ambiong and Lovena tanks will be able to focus their output on their proper designated areas instead of getting diverted to cover Area 3, allowing for extended water supply to portions of Upper General Luna, Assumption Road, and Session Road.
Around 3,000 active connections in the western side of the city, particularly accounts serviced in Zones 4 and 5 which reach from Leonard Wood to Ambuclao and Mines View, as well as parts of the surrounding areas, will start to enjoy more regular water supply, moving up from two water supply schedules a week to three or four.
While the well has already been commissioned, the city is still in the process of necessary secondary tasks, with preparation of a job order for the expansion of distribution lines along Purok 4 East Gibraltar and Modesta-Mines View being arranged to accommodate the deferred new water service connection applications in the area to be serviced by the increased water supply.
Earlier this year, BWD addressed the water supply concerns in the Old Lucban-Dizon Subdivision-Quezon Hill-Pinsao areas as well as Pinget, Pinsao, Fairview, Magsaysay, Quirino Hill, and Tam-awan after completing the pipeline interconnection augmentation projects.
The BWD also previously started another deepwell project this year in Camp 7 barangay, which the agency has aimed to complete and commission for operation by the end of the year, with two months remaining to complete said project.
However, the city still has to contend with dwindling resources amid continuously growing demand. BWD General Manager Salvador Royeca said that unregulated private well-drilling of the city’s already stretched water table continues to be a factor that has to be taken into account.
Only 210 water companies are permitted to tap into the city’s water table, but according to Royeca, there are many unregulated private wells operating in the city. While there is no comprehensive list of said unregulated wells, both Royeca and Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong have said that numerous complaints have arrived at their desks regarding these wells.
According to Royeca, with the growing demand for water, the BWD is looking for more sources of water that can be tapped and potentially the drilling for more wells. But the city must first meet with the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to request for intensified regulation and monitoring to ensure that the water table is not over-exploited and drained dry.
Royeca also said that the city is looking to realign water supply to ensure proper distribution to all residences connected to the network. The recently-commissioned Gibraltar deepwell is part of this effort.
Previously, the BWD broached the possibility of putting up more rain catchment facilities in the city to increase the usable water supply in Baguio, but it is still undergoing a feasibility study.