Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city is currently crafting an El Nino master plan as a mitigation measure in response to the El Nino phenomenon and the impending water shortage problem it may cause in the Summer Capital. The master plan will consist of short-term, mediumterm, and long-term solutions consisting of programs, activities and projects, the Mayor said.

Short term solutions include encouraging the public to observe water conservation practices; for establishments consuming a huge amount of water like hotels and restaurants to have their own rainwater harvesting facilities; and the use of a two-piping system, one for potable water and the other for watering plants, cleaning and the like.

Medium term solutions are the establishment of rainwater harvesting facilities at the city’s watersheds like those currently operating in Sto. Tomas and Busol while that in Buyog is expected to be operational by next year with the help of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in sourcing funds for the multimillion project, the Mayor said.

For long term solutions or three years from now, he said there is finally a ‘very good’ proposal for a bulk water project that will ensure residents a 24/7 water supply. A financial proposal on consumer acceptability and willingness to pay an acceptable water rate increase that is not excessive has also been presented.

The Mayor disclosed that he will be meeting with representatives of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), July 14, on the strict regulation of unauthorized deep wells that have been observed to be proliferating unchecked all over the city. “While the city has warned and stopped the drilling of some of these ‘colorum’ deepwells, it is the NWRB that has the power to regulate and control this activity,” the Mayor said.

According to PAGASA, El Nino increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions that could bring negative impacts such as dry spells and droughts in several areas of the country which may adversely affect various climate-sensitive sectors such as water resources, agriculture, energy, health and public safety. It added, however, that the enhanced Southwest monsoon season (Habagat) may still be expected which may result in above-normal rainfall conditions over the Western part of the country.

Gaby B. Keith/PIO

Amianan Balita Ngayon