Baguio folk urged to conserve water in face of El Niño

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Wednesday urged Baguio residents to observe water conservation methods as a means of coping with the El Nino phenomenon or prolonged drought which will affect the country until the first quarter of the year.

“We have to learn to use water wisely so we can contribute in its conservation which is now a must considering the effect of the El Nino and the increasing demand for water in our city,” the mayor said.

The Baguio Water District issued the following water conservation tips:
*The Basics: Check for leaks within your water piping system regularly and have them repaired immediately. You can also report leaking pipes to the Baguio Water District tel. no. 444-7246, cel nos. 0908-865-1504 (SMART); 0922-840-9765 (SUN); and 0917-679-4929 (GLOBE)

* In cooking, use a basin when washing vegetables, fruits and other foods. Avoid thawing frozen food under running tap water; bring out frozen food from the freezer/refrigerator hours before cooking.

*In taking showers and flushing the toilet, take short showers or you can also use a pail or “batya” instead of shower.

*In doing laundry, use basins and avoid overflow of water when laundering with hands; use washing machines with full load only and use only as needed; and reuse laundry water for flushing toilets, washing cars or gardening.

*In washing hands, face and hair, use a wash basin, dipper or pail.

*In brushing teeth and shaving, use a glass when brushing your teeth, also when rinsing your razor.

*Make your own rain water harvesting facility by using ordinary asphalt drums.

Last year, the city government mapped out an action plan to address the impact of the El Nino phenomenon containing the consolidated plans, programs and activities (PPAs) before, during and after the climate cycle of agencies involved in the four core concerns namely food security, energy security, health and safety.

City planning and development coordinator Evelyn Cayat who convened the El Nino action meeting in October last year said the plan will make up the city’s Roadmap to Address the Impact of El Nino (RAIN).

Various agencies participated in the preparation of the action plan including the Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera Administrative Region (DTI-CAR) for the food security; Baguio Water District (BWD) for water supply; Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc. (BENECO) for energy security; the City Health Services Office for health concerns; the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources Cordillera (DENR-CAR) for environment; and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) for the safety concern.

Under the health concern, the PPAs center on handling the various diseases and health threats for the duration of the El Nino with preemptive actions focusing on health information dissemination activities, trainings of health workers, stockpiling of equipment, medicines and supplies at health centers, enhancement of surveillance, among others.

El Nino onslaught measures focus on mobilization and deployment of outbreak responders and clinical management while aftermath actions center on post-outbreak assessment, recovery and reconstruction.

On water security, preparation measures include bulk water supply outsourcing, watershed management, protection and preservation, water conservation advocacy, underground aquifer management, drilling and exploration, rainwater harvesting and systems loss prevention.

During the El Nino, priority will be given to the equitable distribution of water supply, cloud seeding, conservation advocacy, tapping assistance of private water supplier and water recycling and after the calamity, the focus will be seeking national support to decentralize the police power to apprehend illegal water exploration, desalination, management of surface and underground water storage, well rehabilitation, water exploration and protection of watershed reservations.

On food security, the focus will be on regular price and supply monitoring of prime commodity sources and retailers, assessment of market situation during disaster and replenishment of inventory by tapping local distributors, manufacturers and government assistance and conduct of diskwento caravans in affected areas.

On safety concern, actions include the fixing of budget allocation for water supply, continuous training and education of the various sectors on fire and disaster prevention, determination of fire and disaster-prone areas, drilling and restoration of water reservoir beside the fire station and information-education campaign and mobilization of personnel and volunteers to respond to emergency situations./A Refuerzo


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