The city water district is eyeing to build a man-made reservoir that can store water to continuously ensure the sustainability of water supply in Puerto Princesa following the completion of the second phase of its water system improvement project in Lapu-Lapu River in Barangay Montible.
Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) general manager Walter Laurel said they are looking to build more water sources to assure the sustainability of water supply after the recent completion of their Water System Improvement Project (WSIP) Phase II.
During the commissioning of the Lapu-Lapu Treatment Facility in Barangay Montible, he said that the PPCWD is investigating the potential of constructing an impounding dam in the Campo Uno sources in barangays Irawan and Sta. Lucia.
Laurel said these additional sources will supplement supplies, particularly during the dry season, citing that the dam in Campo Uno may be built at a height of 25 to 30 meters.
“We’re looking at building an impounding dam in Campo Uno in Irawan. May potential kasi na mag-impound ng ating requirement for the next two to three months sa summer season. Iyon ang tinitingnan natin. We’re being assisted by the USAID Safe Water project na sila magka-conduct ng feasibility study for the project,” he said.
“Ongoing ang aming usapan. Actually, hindi na namin hihintayin ang two or three years, we’re [already] looking at possible additional sources. Napag-usapan din namin ang impounding sa Sta. Lucia, man-made lake pupuwede, mag-store tayo ng tubig doon during rainy season, kapag summer doon tayo mag-withdraw as additional source,” he added.
The artificial lake can be created by constructing a dam across a watershed, digging the land, or enclosing a section of land with dykes and redirecting a portion of the river flow into the reservoir.
The water kept in the reservoir is suitable for both home and industrial purposes.
Laurel stated that PPCWD is currently doing a study to estimate a new financial flow to fund the additional water sources, in light of the decline in sales resulting from the absence of tourists. He stated that the investigation will prevent consumer charges from reflecting the cost of projects.
Lapu-Lapu Treatment Facility
On Wednesday, PPCWD officially opened the Lapu-Lapu Water Treatment Facility, the last WSIP II project to be constructed. WSIP II is the city water district’s largest project, with a budget of P783 million and contracted to HG III Construction & Development Corp.
The project, according to Mayor Lucilo Bayron, will facilitate the development of rural communities.
He emphasized that the current water supply should not be taken for granted, as it must be expanded to rural barangays.
“Ini-expect namin na with this move, mapapabilis ang development in rural barangays. More people will be opting to link sa rural barangays as soon as ang opportunities ay available na ron sa rural barangays,” he said.
He said that more sources must be developed in the northern portion of the city to service the other barangays.
Effect of loss of tourism
The WSIP II sources can produce 80 million liters per day, which PPCWD deemed to be in excess of the need of approximately 38 million liters per day.
Due to the lack of tourists during the pandemic, the daily demand for water reduced from approximately 42 million to 38 million liters.
WSIP II was financed by a loan from the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
Sources from the rivers Montible and Lapu- Lapu are anticipated to provide sufficient water to Puerto Princesa for the next 10 years. The Montible river will provide water during the dry season, while the Lapu-Lapu will provide water during the wet season.
The WSIP was conceptualized in 2014 to provide a stable, reliable, and sustainable water supply in the city. The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) only issued the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) clearance on July 25, 2019, and a memorandum of agreement with the Bureau of Correction (BuCor) was inked on August 7, 2019.