Water dam proposal sets right direction — Lobregat PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 June 2016 11:36

Zamboanga City Water District is in the right track in pushing for the conduct of a pre-feasibility study on the proposed construction of a water dam which is very vital amid the growing demand for potable water, energy and power generation in the city.

This was the impression made by District 1 Cong. Celso Lobregat who sees the importance of such project to the city especially with its booming economy and increasing migration from neighboring provinces.

Economic considerations and gradual increase in population are matters to be considered also by the local water utilities here, in adhering to the demand of times as well as the call for progress and development, Lobregat said.

“I believe Zamboanga Water District is taking the right direction, level off expectations because if we recall, the same proposal was crafted in 1996 for the proposed construction of a 23-storey dam in Pulong Bato but it was not realized due to apprehensions of flooding,” Lobregat said.

The solon described the proposal as very laudable even not affordable for the local water firm, but all efforts and collaboration of other non-government agencies like the USAID-Be Secure Program and others have started this dream to become a reality in the future.

Lobregat’s observation comes after USAID-Be Secure Program expressed interest in the conduct of the Pre-Feasibility Study on the proposal of ZCWD for the water dam project.

“I hope this will not stop only until the end of the pre-feasibility study, I believe in the eagerness and perseverance of the ZCWD officials and its Board of Directors to pursue this landmark project in the city, it will be their legacy,” Lobregat said.

The veteran lawmaker expressed his full support in facilitating necessary national government transactions, propositions and communications in order to pursue this project which is necessary for the Zamboangueños considering the growing number in demand for potable water and energy component as well.

“The construction of the dam could not happen overnight, due to the long process on pre-feasibility study and later on the formal feasibility study, considerations on water protocol, and finally if feasible, the construction of the dam itself. But then, pursuing this is not impossible, it only needs strong determination with sense of urgency and dedication,” Lobregat said.

Recall that the main objective of the USAID-Be Secure Program Pre-Feasibility study on the city’s impounding dam is to identify the river in Zamboanga City that can be impounded to supply the long-term water needs of the city including the requirement during prolonged dry season, to include the energy considerations for it to pass the international standard requirements to meet the national and international funding requirements.

Lobregat earlier expressed a strong manifestation in passing a resolution in the 17th Congress in order for National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to make the proposed impounding dam project of Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) a priority project of the national government, seeing its viability and necessity amidst the scarcity of water in the city.

Zamboanga City Water District Board of Directors Chairman Edwin Caliolio told newsmen Tuesday that this project proposal is very ambitious for the ZCWD to realize, but the realization of such will depend on the determination of its officials of course with the support of local stakeholders and the LGU as well in pushing for this gigantic project.

Caliolio said that there were attempts in the past since 1996 for similar propositions but it did not push through due to some vital considerations.

“The necessity is there, we badly needed this water dam, but the question is, can we afford to build it? No, we cannot, we do not have enough resources. We have local utility problems to take care just to continue to deliver potable water to our constituents, that’s why we need the full support of all our local officials in this project, we have to move heaven and earth for the realization of such,” Caliolio said.

ZCWD General Manager Leonardo Rey Vasquez also said that in the present corporate status of the ZCWD, it is banking on outside financial resources to pursue this project, considering the limited financial capacities of the water firm in building the water dam.

At present, ZCWD is having its upgrading of pipelines in the west coast area to interconnect to the main pipelines in the city proper’s distribution area just to improve their present water services to the people. – Dexter Yap