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Recycled water key to Baguio’s headaches

Republika

Endeavoring to solve the issue of a low water supply that has plagued Baguio City residents for years, local experts are looking into how they can directly flow rainwater into aquifers, in order to replenish the groundwater more efficiently.


Rainwater that is absorbed through soil and then collected in underground bodies of rock and/or sediment called aquifers, becomes groundwater which is then accessed for our everyday use.


However, because most of the urbanized city is paved concrete, rainwater isn’t absorbed by soil and instead flows down to lowland areas via drains and rivers.


University of the Cordilleras (UC) engineer Nathaniel Vincent Lubrica, who spearheads a collaborative study with other Cordillera institutions on watershed and river system protection, said that artificial groundwater recharge sites at Burnham Park and the strawberry farms of La Trinidad, seek to address the flow issue.


By burying an 8-inch diameter pipe at the Burnham Park facility, runoff water should then flow directly to the aquifer, replenishing the groundwater supply.


Should the test prove successful, Baguio’s groundwater recharge rate would increase by effectively recycling the city’s 3,000-millimeter yearly average rainfall.


Furthermore, Darwin Ablang, a forester of the Watershed and Water Resources Research Development and Extension Center of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) stated that the rainwater would be subject to filtration to ensure safety for use.


Ablang also mentioned how the city’s population “is still growing” and thus water deficits will only worsen in time, affecting the economy and environment of Baguio and nearby provinces.


Adding to this, Baguio Water District general manager Salvador Royeca said that the team conducting the tests must locate the most ideal underground water zones for directing rainwater into the aquifers, in order to address the deficits in supply.


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