Congressman Hector S. Sanchez last weekend led the inauguration of the first phase of the multi-million Natunungan Dam in Viga town, with the facility seen to supply the town’s water supply once completed.
In his remarks during the brief ceremony held Saturday morning (Feb. 22, 2020) at the foot of the four-meter high concrete-and-boulder dam at barangay Rizal, the congressman said the project would not only provide water for residential and commercial use but also badly-needed water to irrigate rice land within the area.
He also the municipality led by Mayor Emeterio Tarin, Vice Mayor Cesar Cervantes and the members of the Sangguniang Bayan that the amount of P5 million has already been allotted by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the installation of pipelines that would connect the four outlet pipes of the dam to the existing distribution system of the Viga Water District.
Once completed, Sanchez said, the dam’s water could not only be used for residential and agricultural use but also for generating electricity.
For now, the congressman stated, the excess water at the dam could be harnessed for tourism purposes by creating a shallow pool at its foot for the enjoyment of visitors.
Present during the inauguration were Governor Joseph Cua, DPWH Catanduanes District Engineer Gil Augustus Balmadrid, Rizal barangay chairman Salvador Temporosa and the members of the barangay council.
DE Balmadrid urged the municipality, the Viga Water District and the barangay council to discuss this early how to prioritize the use of the dam water, particularly during the summer months.
Records show that the first phase of the dam was begun in October 2018, with the P66.6 million project completed on Sept. 9, 2019.
The contractor had to build a 184-lineal meter new road leading to the site and excavated almost 51,000 cubic meters of mountain side as well as 26,400 cubic meters of soft rock and 1,320 cubic meters of solid rock.
To strengthen the dam, 340 lineal meters of sheet piles were driven on the upstream side. For the massive dam structure, the builders utilized 1,500 cubic meters of concrete and 3,329 tons of boulders.
At this stage, the dam is 31 meters long, 30 meters wide and 3.5 meters high, based on a one-meter mat foundation.
The DPWH said the dam is designed to sustain the weight of a 20-meter high structure but completion would most likely be up to 12 meters.
This, DE Balmadrid said, would enable the dam to impound 19,000 cubic meters of water, which is higher than the estimated monthly demand of 15,000 cubic meters of the local water system.