BAGUIO CITY – The Baguio Water District (BWD) disclosed that there are only forty deep wells in the city which have been issued appropriate permits by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) over the past several years amidst the operation of hundreds of illegal deep wells in the different parts of the city.
BWD general manager Engr. Salvador M. Royeca admitted that it is unfortunate that the water district always lost in its previous petitions opposing the grant of permits to applicants wanting to operate deep wells in the different parts of the city considering that the power to approve such applications is lodged with the Manila-based NWRB.
“We are disappointed over the fact that we interposed our objections to the operation of deep wells in the different parts of the city which were brought to our attention for our comment. We are saddened that our opposition to the applications to operate deep wells have not been given due consideration when the same is meritorious because of its impact to the stability of the city’s water supply,” Royeca stressed.
The BWD official asserted that it is unfortunate that the NWRB granted the application of some deep well operators to operate deep wells near some of their deep wells in the different parts of the city which directly competes with the water district’s production of sustainable water supply for the growing number of consumers.
According to him, it is best for the permits to operate deep wells will be only issued upon the clearance of the water district which is the entity ware of the real situation in a certain place so that there will be no overlapping of sources of water that will have a serious negative impact on the ability of the aquifers to rejuvenate and store sufficient supply of water that could last up to the end of the dry spell.
He admitted that the 4o deep wells that were issued permits by the NWRB are far lesser compared to the actual number of illegal deep wells that are now operating in the city in direct competition with the water district in the culling out of abundant water supply from the city’s existing aquifers that also need to be replenished during the rainy months for continuous water supply to the increasing number of consumers.
He claimed that the association of water districts support the proposal of Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan for the downloading of the power to approve permits to operate deep wells to the concerned water district in direct coordination with the local government so that there will be sufficient regulation in the extraction of water from the city’s existing aquifers so as not to compromise the stability of water supply for the consumers in the future.
Aside from residential use, some illegal deep wells in the city are being used for commercial purposes which is also in direct competition with the business of the water district to provide abundant water supply for the residents and the visitors like.
BWD is simply awaiting the appropriate administrative order that will empower the water districts to oversee the operation of deep wells in their areas of jurisdiction to ensure that many of the illegal deep wells will be regulated in favour of the greater welfare of the consumers.
By Dexter A. See