DAVAO CITY- The Interface Development Interventions (IDIS) urged Dabawenyos to take advantage of the rainy season by harvesting rainwater for household use.
The local government passed a Davao City Rainwater Ordinance in 2009, mandating the establishment of rainwater catching systems (RCS) in newly built residences and buildings.
The policy was formulated to promote the storage and usage of rainwater for non-potable use.
“Harvesting rainwater for domestic or industrial use will lessen our water utility bills since we won’t waste drinking water for flushing toilets, cleaning households or for watering gardens,” said IDIS Policy Advocacy Specialist Mark Penalver.
Under the ordinance, building designs must incorporate a rainwater catchment system before being issued a building permit. The City Engineer’s Office (CEO) is finalizing some RCS designs for recommendation but the office has begun issuing RCS permits for applications who have complied with the ordinance.
Penalver encouraged households and existing buildings to also comply with the ordinance.
“RCS designs need not be complicated; it can be as simple as placing an empty container under a gutter or a downspout so that the rainwater will be harvested,” he said.
But he stressed the importance of putting a screen on the mouth of the container to prevent mosquitoes from using the water as a breeding site.
“For longer storage, cover the containers. Otherwise, empty the containers in less than 10 days to prevent mosquito larva from inhabiting the water,” Penalver said.
Environmental advocates have long championed the use of RCS as a strategy to mitigate the effects of climate change.
“It can reduce the effects of storm water peak flow and surface runoff. Imagine if every building in the city has a RCS, there will be less flooding in the streets and less erosion of floodwater canals,” Penalver said.
“It is also timely that we push for more widespread RCS adoption. Since the Talomo-Lipadas Watershed aquifers are running out of potable water, we need to conserve our water and this means not wasting it for non-potable use,” he said. (PIA XI)