Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 6

4357 Environmental Law Atty.

Chelin Sonza Alug THE EFFECTS OF DAVAO CITY WATERSHED OF THE HEDCOR SIBULAN HYRDROELECTRIC POWER PROJECT One of the issues that stirred, not only the City Council of Davao and numerous environmental advocates, but the city populace itself was the clash of interest between the Davao City Water District and Hedcor Sibulan, Incorporated, over the use and utilization of the Tamugan and Panigan river basins. To recapitulate, in May of 1997, the National Water Resources Board already issued a permit, specifically Water Permit No. 15729, to the Davao City Water District to use and develop surface water from Tamugan River in an amount not exceeding 1,044.29 liters per second (1.0443 cubic meters per second) during the months of January to December. This has been consequently increased to 4,678.41 liters per second (4.6784 cubic meters per second) from April to November and 3,440 liters per second (3.4400 cubic meters per second) from December to March, as per decision of the Honorable Board dated November 23, 2000. On the other hand, in response to the March 31, 2006 invitation to bid sent by Davao Light Power Corporation, for interested parties to bid for the supply of 400 Million kwhrs per year starting on 2009, Hedcor Sibulan, Incorporated submitted its proposal to build three (3) small hydropower plants in Calinan District, Davao City, to serve the growing energy requirements of Davao Light Power Co. (DLPC). Thereafter, the Power Supply Agreement (PSA) was awarded to Hedcor being the lowest bidder.

It was then decided by Hedcor that the three plants to be constructed will be located in the following barangays: 1. Tamugan Plant BarangaysTamugan, Tawan-Tawan, Tambobong, and Wines 2. Suawan Plant Barangay Suawan 3. Panigan Plant Barangays Carmen, Cadalian, and Tamayong DCWD then raised its objection to the said Hedcor proposal to construct hydro power plant in the upper part of Tamugan and Panigan River. The said objection is predicated upon (TSWD). Table 1 Comparative Analysis of the Arguments Raised by Hedcor and DCWD HEDCORs Arguments With the increasing population comes the increasing demand for power to sustain development. DCWDs Arguments The city needs clean water supply to sustain the needs of the people; with the increasing population comes along the increasing Hydro-electric plants do not consume water. Water will be returned to the river and can be re-used. demand for clean water. The issue is not pertaining to the use of water but on location. Hedcor only needs the desired elevation in a river system to generate power. DCWD needs both the desired elevation and the good quality water in the river Production of clean energy thru system. Hydro electric power plants can be DCWDs interest to develop a PhP 1.3 billion Tamugan Surface Water Development Project

hydroelectric plants is a must to maintain ecological balance and help reduce greenhouse gases that is the primary cause of global warming. Hydro-electric plants are necessary in the fast changing world, hence, must be prioritized

built elsewhere in the Davao region as long as there is water supply from elevated places.

Pursuant to the hierarchy of priority in the use of water , as provided under Article 10 of the Water Code, the purpose of DCWD which is municipal and jurisdictional takes precedence over the purpose of Hedcor which is power generation.

With the above-stated conflicting arguments raised by both parties, the question now whether or not Hedcors proposals can stand together. The proponent of this paper answers in the negative, arguing on the following premises: A. Tamugan and Panigan river basins are identified as recharge areas for our groundwater source (example is the Dumoy aquifer). Should Hedcor construct and install their turbines, the result would be drying up of a portion of the river bed which is the recharge zone of groundwater source. This will likewise have a great adverse effect on our Dumoy aquifer. B. Tamugan and Panigan river basins are the only river basins available for DCWD as surface water source, as it meets both the quality and quantity requirement for drinking water. Hedcor has too many alternative sites. Moreover, the elevation with which these basins are and DCWDs

located, using it for surface water source, would make DCWD operations financially viable, since distribution of the same is by gravity. C. The proposal of Hedcor to use their tail end water is simply untenable as this would result to tremendous and expensive treatment cost, which amount is even bigger compared to the savings we can derive. D. The Tamugan surface water source project of the DCWD will address the entire drinking water supply of Davao City for the next 20-30 years, while Hedcors power project is going to produce only but a small fragment of the total electrical power requirement of Davao City. As to the issue of the possible consequences if Hedcors project be implemented, the following findings are highlighted. First, such project will entail higher costs on the part of DCWD in constructing and maintaining the project, in accordance with their feasibility study. DCWD needs the elevated part of the river to get enough pressure of water to meet the projected volumes to be distributed to the consumers. With the construction of hydropower plant in the upstream, DCWD anticipates that the quantity of water expected to be produced will be greatly decreased. Second, by the year 2010, DCWD foresees shortage of water supply, that is why urgent implementation of the Tamugan Water System Development Project is likely called for to avoid such problem. Should Hedcor push through with its program, then, future water shortage would likely materialize.

Third, it is expected that with the installation of the hydropower plant, a higher water rate will be implemented to the consuming public. Such increase in rate is in consonance with the higher cost that will be incurred by DCWD in bringing water to the people. The former necessities water pumps to produce pressure --- same to be more expensive. Fourth, there has been a long, incessant problem of adequacy of potable water supply in the far-flung areas of Districts 2 and 3 of the City. Thus, the construction of the hydropower plant will have a great adverse effect in the supply of water in those far-flung areas. Then again, amidst the conflicting interests of both the DCWD and Hedcor over the Tamugan and Panigan river basins, we cannot discount the fact that both projects are important to the city. DCWDs project --- to bring potable water to the consumers, and Hedcors project --- to address the citys increasing demand for energy to supply electricity. When it comes to priority, it is clear that the peoples right to clean and potable drinking water is supreme over the need for power generation, as water is for life are already dead? Then again, the beauty of the conflict is that a possible win-win solution can still be achieved. If DCWD can have Tamugan River as surface water source, Hedcor can utilize Davao river, and the bodies of water in Lipadas, Paquibato, and Marilog. The latter holds the biggest potentials for hydro power --- bigger than that of the Tamugan River. Through this, we can meet both goals --- having a sufficient and adequate supply of potable water to last for generations, and also a sufficient source of power to generate and supply electricity to houses while power is for ease, convenience, and progress. Surely, how can you enjoy the latter if you

in the city. It would be better if both parties enter into a compromise and work hand in hand to resolve the issue amicably. At the end of the day, what matters though is not what we earn but what we can preserve and conserve.