Mayor asks lawmakers to back Apo Agua’s surface water plan

MAYOR Sara Duterte-Carpio has asked for the full support of the local government for the bid of Apo Agua to tap Tamugan river as an alternative source instead of simply pumping water from the city’s aquifers.

Mayor Duterte’s policy statement was among the contents of her state of the city address at the Sangguniang Panlungsod yesterday.

The mayor asked the city council, through a policy statement, that there’s an urgency to the request of the proponent of the project. Apo Agua is a joint venture agreement between Aboitiz Equity Ventures and the Davao City Water District.

“There is an urgent need to support this project because of the increasing demand for a steady and sufficient supply of potable water in the city,” Mayor Duterte said. “This is the alternative water source to allow time for our aquifers to recharge.”

The request to the local legislative body comes after months of delay at the level of the plenary.

The JEV is asking for a permit for allowable use for an area in Barangay Gumalang.

The item, currently pending at the plenary of the legislative body, has been interrupted by other matters, such as water quality from other areas such as the second district.

Ones Almario, general manager of Apo Agua, said in an interview in Gumalang that this particular request of the joint venture is for allowable use in the area, from agricultural to industrial.

The permission is based on the idea that the industrial project would be for the production of potable water. The area in question is a site of a water treatment plant in Gumalang, with a size of 6.8 hectares.

According to Almario, the plant aims to be a self-sustaining property with its own power supply. The property will include a sludge lagoon where the waste from the Tamugan river would be treated, with solids to be hauled to be turned into fertilizer.

Treated minimal waste would be returned to the river. Part of the request is the permission to construct a 2.4MW hydropower plant that would power the plant.

“We are hoping for the council to consider our request,” Almario said.

The treated water would be distributed to the city’s eight reservoirs and is being seen as a solution to the city’s rising water supply crisis, especially in the second district.

Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, who leads the city’s council, said the council would have to review the request of the executive.

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