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Davao takes stock of future water demand amid housing boom

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worker pipe installation
A Davao City Water District worker prepares pipes for installation as part of the ongoing distribution network improvement and expansion program. -- BW/LEAN S. DAVAL, JR.

DAVAO CITY — The Davao City Water District (DCWD) has started reassessing the future water requirement of the fast-growing city with applications for new connections at 62 for condominiums and high rise buildings, and 54 housing projects.

DCWD Spokesperson Bernard D. Delima said some of these planned developments are expected to be in place by 2021.

“One condominium, depending on the number of units, we will compute how much volume of water they will be needing. This is based on the records given to us by the City Planning (and Development Office). Some of them already started developing. This is the reason why we will get their water requirements for us to anticipate their needs,” Mr. Delima said in a forum on April 15.

As of July 2018, he said, they have computed an additional 82 million liters per day (MLD) demand from completed condominiums and office buildings, including those from major developers such as Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc.’s Camella Communities, Ayala Land Inc., Euro Towers International, Inc., and homegrown firms Damosa Land, Inc. and Escandor Development Corp.

For horizontal residential projects, the computed demand as of the same period is 119 MLD.

DCWD currently has around 224,000 service connections and a 300 MLD supply from groundwater sources.




Mr. Delima said they require high-rise developers to put up a cistern or underground water tank with the capacity to supply the water requirements of all units.

“During peak hours, they will not get water from DCWD, we will put a pressure cistern valve that will only open during off-peak (10 p.m.) for the water to come in. Meaning they will be storing water in their cistern only during off-peak. The cistern will automatically close by 6 a.m so that nearby communities have water during peak hours,” he said.

This mechanism, he added, is already implemented in existing buildings.

By the first half of 2021, Mr. Delima noted that the P12.6-billion bulk supply project of the Aboitiz-led Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc. is expected to start delivering 300 MLD.

Apo Agua, which is 70%-owned by Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. and the remaining 30% under JV Angeles Construction Corp., broke ground in November last year for the project that will source supply from the Tamugan River.

Once the bulk supply becomes operational, DCWD intends to give its ground water sources a rest and just maintain these as back-up.

Mr. Delima added that they also have an existing permit to develop the Mt. Talomo-Lipadas River as a supply source in the future.

DCWD has been implementing since 1993 its Integrated Watershed Management Program in the major water recharge zones, particularly Malagos, Mt. Talomo-Lipadas, and Mt. Tipolog-Tamugan watersheds.

The water utility has also been undertaking a P2-billion pipeline network improvement and expansion program since 2015. — Maya M. Padillo