The Baguio City government has asked the National Water Regulatory Board (NWRB) to deputize the city government and the Baguio Water District (BWD) to set up a schedule for extracting underground water as water scarcity is inevitable during the summer months of March to May.
City Mayor Benjamin Magalong made the request as the supply of potable water in the region continues to diminish. No strong typhoons have come to fill its deep wells and the city’s ground aquifer.
So far, the city has 676 registered deep wells based on December 2018 data, 68 of which were operated by the BWD. The figure did not include “colorum” or unauthorized wells.
The demand for water every day in the city is 41,032.25 cu. m and it can produce 46,934.94 cu. m a day based on BWD 2021 production forecast.
Magalong said the impact of a supply shortage would not be felt in February, but residents would need to manage water consumption now because a crisis was imminent.
The city’s water supply since the 1980s has been rationed and most neighborhoods have been receiving their allocations on certain days each week, except for business and tourism centers, which have uninterrupted supply during business hours.
The water scarcity and declining supply has been attributed to rising population and deterioration of the city’s watersheds.
The American-era rain basin is the only reservoir in the city which was able to store 1.75 meters of reserved water in November last year. This figure was down from its peak 12 meters or its full capacity of 750,000 cubic meters.