The investors behind the bulk water project that will be built in Barangay Gumalang, Baguio District said to be a watershed area are surely happy on the city council’s approval on third and final reading on their request for the use of 85,258 square meters of land for a water treatment facility. It took a long while for the Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc. (AAII) to get the nod of the city council amid the environmental concerns surrounding the project. While there are a few of the councilors who raised concern of the project’s impact on the environment, many are fully convinced, the investors would make good their promise to abide with the conditions set by the council for the purpose of protecting the watershed and its surrounding communities.
Based on the city’s zoning ordinance, the city council would allow the additional allowable use provided the company fulfills the socio-economic and environmental significance; not adversely affect the environment and not alter the zone or subzone. The concerned investors manifested to fulfill the conditions enough to get the green light from the local legislators. Meanwhile, environment cause oriented groups denounce the council’s approval of the project maintaining the project would eventually destroy the natural resource. The group’s concern is understandable since any single extraction of the soil would definitely lead to destruction. The investors however were quick to justify they would implement mitigating measures to protect the watershed and its circles as they agreed with the city council to make the corresponding manifestation.
Water resources in the city are feared to deplete considering the long decades of usage. This was admitted earlier by the Davao City Water District, a partner of AAII in the bulk water project. In anticipation of the supply shortage in the light of the economic boom in the city and increasing population, the water utility believes the bulk water project is the best answer to avert the impending water crisis. The project proponent claimed the project is expected to supply 300 million liters of water per day to the city for 30 years. Water supply and environment are both significant to mankind that if lost and destroyed, respectively would bring the entire populace at a loss. The conditions set by the council to give a go on the project serve as guarantee that both purposes which is to provide sufficient water supply at the same time preserve the environment would be achieved. If and when these conditions are defied, the project proponents should be held accountable and penalized.