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

November 21, 2021

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.