Pangilinan supports farmers’ call to stop Udenna water project in Quezon

Pangilinan supports farmers’ call to stop Udenna water project in Quezon

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — UDENNA’S Lumbo Spring Bulk Water Supply Project in Dolores,
Quezon will cause water shortage and endanger the livelihood of
farmers in the province, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said as he
filed a resolution supporting various groups who oppose the project.

In a resolution, Pangilinan urged the Senate to express support for
the local farmers, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), and
the local governments of Dolores and Tiaong who are all against the
project.

(The resolution will be numbered Monday when the Senate resume its
official functions from the weekend break.)

The local farmers, along with NIA and the local governments of Dolores
and Tiaong, have said that this project will cause water supply
shortage and livelihood problems in the province.

“There is a clear threat of irrigation water shortage due to the
increasing number of water users both for domestic and agricultural
use. The proposed project and the continuous decrease of water
discharge will jeopardize the government’s thrust toward food security
and will decrease farmers’ potential income,” NIA said in the
resolution.

In an earlier statement, Tiaong’s local government mentioned that it
has received concerns from farmers that the project will negatively
impact their livelihood and food production.

Advocacy group Mamamayan Para sa Kapakanan ng Kalikasan ng Bukal ng
Lumbo (Mapakalikasan) supports the position of other organizations,
saying the water supply project will only benefit a few sectors at the
expense of people living in downstream communities.

Pangilinan, who previously chaired the Senate Committee on
Agriculture, echoed the sentiments of the groups, particularly
mentioning the dilemma that local farmers would face in case the
project pushes through.

On 18 November 2020, the San Pablo City Water District (SPCWD) and
Dolores Water District (DWD) issued a Notice of Award for the
development of the Lumbo Spring Bulk Water Supply Project in Dolores,
Quezon to the Consortium of Udenna Water Integrated, Inc., Inclam,
S.A., and Optimus Engineering and Construction under a public-private
partnership (PPP) scheme;

The P103-million project will draw for a period of 25 years, 12
million liters of water daily from the Lumbo Spring in Dolores,
Quezon, with 10 million liters of which to be diverted to users from
another city, San Pablo, Laguna. Only 2 million liters of water shall
be for the use of the municipality of Dolores, Quezon. (ai/mtvn)

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