The photo shows the multi-stakeholder meeting at the DOST-CAR Conference Room in La Trinidad, Benguet on January 20, 2021.

To settle concerns pending the implementation of the project titled “Development of Artificial Groundwater Recharge Facility for Drought and Flood Mitigation”, the Watershed and Water Resources Research, Development and Extension Center (WWRRDEC) led a meeting on January 20, 2021 at the DOST-CAR Conference Room in La Trinidad, Benguet.

The said project is one of the four project components under the “Program Boondock: A Mountain Engineering Center towards Sustainable Infrastructure and Upland Water Security” which was funded under the DOST – Niche Centers in the Region for the R&D (NICER).

The meeting was hosted by DOST-CAR and was participated in by the Project’s co-implementing agencies to include the LGU La Trinidad, Benguet State University (BSU), and the University of the Cordilleras (UC).

LGU La Trinidad was represented in the meeting by Municipal Engr. Benedict P. Pineda, while the BSU was represented by its newly-installed President, Dr. Felipe S. Comila. DOST-CAR Director, Dr. Nancy A. Bantog was virtually present during the meeting via Zoom cloud app.

It has been highlighted that the project primarily aims to develop an artificial groundwater recharge facility (AGRF) for the replenishment of aquifers to address water shortage and minimize flooding in Baguio City and La Trinidad.

The 2-year project will be implemented in two sites: one in Burnham Park, Baguio City, and the other within the Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad, Benguet.

One of the concerns for the La Trinidad site, which was the main agendum of the meeting, is the management of the facility upon project completion.

This is since the LGU will provide the counterpart funding for the facility while the BSU owns the land where the proposed facility will be established.

Nonetheless, the BSU Prexy yield for the facility to be turned-over to the LGU after the project provided that a co-management scheme will be adopted.

The proposal was willingly accepted by Engr. Pineda and reiterated the earlier commitment of the municipal Mayor regarding the allocation of fund for the drilling operation and installation of the injection well which catalyzes the implementation of the project.

The meeting ended with Dr. Bantog lauding the inter-agency collaboration and all-out efforts to bring sustainable solutions through Research and Development (R&D). Shirley Jaene S. Valdez, WWRRDEC