Baguio shuts water sources to prevent oversupply, line explosions

Baguio shuts water sources to prevent oversupply, line explosions

BAGUIO CITY — The Baguio Water District (BWD) has assured residents that water will be enough for everyone this Christmas season, even as it has shut down some of its water sources to avoid oversupply and line explosions.

“We are controlling the supply because if we produce too much, the high pressure will cause water lines to explode. We only produce what is needed,” BWD General Manager Salvador Royeca explained to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview on Tuesday.

He said the water utility’s production capacity at present is high at 60,000 cubic meters a day, compared with only 50,000 cubic meters daily demand at this time.

This, he said, has prompted BWD to shut down some of its water sources to avoid an oversupply.

“We are assuring the public and tourists alike that the supply of water in the city is sufficient for everybody,” he said.

He was quick to add, however, that BWD is expecting water demand in the city to increase soon, as more tourists come up to the mountain city resort for the holidays.

He said such upward trend usually continues through the February festivals in the city until the end of the summer season next year.

The BWD operates at present a total of 64 deep wells, 25 booster stations, and four spring sources to serve 122 out of 129 barangays in Baguio, with around 43,000 billed connections.

Water demand in Baguio usually peaks at 65,000 cubic meters daily in summer.

Royeca said February presents an artificial demand, especially during the third weekend, when Baguio’s two grand parades are held, and thousands of tourists come to watch the grand street dancing and flower floats on the road during the Panagbenga Festival.

“We are now more confident with the supply in the city than in the previous years because we just had activated additional sources and rehabilitated reserve sources. We have more physical sources compared with previous years,” Royeca said.

More water projects

The executive said several projects have been completed and others are still ongoing to further improve the water supply in Baguio.

The source at Tam-awan has been completed, together with the distribution network.

This will improve the supply in the whole of Quezon Hill and Pinsao Pilot, Royeca said.

The newly built source at the upper part of Busol Watershed is intended to improve the supply going to barangays Aurora Hill and Pacdal, he continued, plus the activated military-cut off will augment the BWD tank at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center compound.

Also ongoing is the South Drive source, which is eyed for operation by summer 2020 at the latest.

“We are completing some of our drilling projects to augment the supply during summertime. There will be new sources ready for operation during summertime,” Royeca stressed.

For 2019, the BWD is reserving the water at the newly rehabilitated Santo Tomas Rain Basin, for use during summer.