Analyzing the Resource Flows in Sorsogon City Using the Urban Metabolism Framework

This study examined the flow of selected resources in Sorsogon City using the urban metabolism approach. The resources analyzed were water, energy, food, and construction materials. These were chosen using a toolkit provided by the United Nations Environment (formerly the United Nations Environment Programme), which funded the study. Primary data were gathered through key informant interviews and a focus group discussion with individuals knowledgeable on the four resources studied. Secondary data were obtained from the Sorsogon City Hall, other government offices, and private organizations. The documents and the responses of the study participants were used in the analysis. Findings showed that the Sorsogon City Water District’s production volume for the next 10 years is sufficient to meet the needs of the growing population. However, this does not consider the areas not serviced by the water utility—which is half of all the barangays in the city. Meanwhile, if the present population growth and energy utilization rate remains the same, Sorsogon City will need to increase its electricity and liquid fuel imports. This is because all power used in the city is imported. Similarly, if Sorsogon City does not adopt any changes in its rice production scheme (i.e., no change in annual yield and production area), it will need to increase imports to supply the growing demand. Likewise, since the city has no local source of construction materials, it will continue to be a net importer of steel, cement, sand, and aggregates. Based on these results, several recommendations were made by the researchers for the consideration of Sorsogon City officials.