Cebu water district braces for less water

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Monday, April 14, 2014

CEBU CITY - The Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) is advising the public to conserve water this summer as its water supply is expected to decrease because of the heat.

The country is also expected to experience El Niño this year.

“MCWD’s daily production of 206,000 cubic meters may lower significantly by the middle of the year when the effects of El Niño may be felt,” said production and distribution department manager Astrophel Logarta in a press statement released by MCWD.


The decrease is expected to be 10,000 cubic meters a day, which was the deficit experienced by MCWD during the 2010 El Niño phenomenon.

The water district has about 150,000 consumers, with each household using an average of 24 cubic meters of water every month.

Assistant manager for operations Ernie Delco translated this to about one cubic meter per household per day, which means that about 7,500 households will be affected by the projected deficit, taking into account a 25-percent systems loss.

“It is not alarming because we are also expecting water supply from other sources,” Delco told Sun.Star Cebu.

The dry spell is expected between July and December, but May is forecast as a rainy month.

Getting ready

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is yet to receive a report from the water district on the lower supply of water to be distributed among the Metro Cebu clientele.

“As long as it continues to rain now and then, there shouldn’t be any worries,” said Rama.

But he already directed the Hillyland Management Board and the Quick Response Team to prepare for El Niño.

He also tasked Councilor Dave Tumulak to conduct a joint inspection with MCWD of the Buhisan Dam, one of the sources of water supply.

Rama wants the Hillyland Management Board to make sure there will be no scarcity of water supply in the mountain barangays.

He also wants more drums purchased to store water in the mountains.

Aside from the lower water supply, MCWD expects more consumption of water this summer as the public is expected to take more baths and drink more water to fight dehydration because of the heat.

At the end of March, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-asa) announced the gradual increase in daily air temperature.


Temperature of up to 33 degrees Celsius can be expected during the dry hot season to last until May.

MCWD suggested that households store water during off-peak hours when water consumption is not at a high.

Logarta, though, emphasized that Buhisan Dam is not the main water source of MCWD as 95 percent of its supply comes from groundwater wells.

Buhisan Dam regularly produces 10,000 cubic meters of water a day. The deficit expected by MCWD comes from the dam and the Jaclupan Weir in Talisay City.

Jaclupan supplies an average of 30,000 cubic meters of water a day. Its supply is dependent on the river, with water stored in a catchment basin to seep through the ground and eventually pumped out for distribution to the users.

To mitigate the effects of El Niño, MCWD is working on three additional sources of water supply.

Three wells have been identified; these are in Barangay Canduman in Mandaue City and Barangays Guadalupe and Camputhaw in Cebu City.


But these wells are not expected to supply water for MCWD until July.

In May, though, about 5,000 cubic meters of water will be injected to the Talamban system by Abejo Builders.

A reservoir located in the Cebu Business Park will also be tapped by MCWD to store water at night for distribution in the morning. It was already turned over to MCWD years back but has not been used.

About 3,000 cubic meters of water can be stored in the reservoir, said MCWD distribution division manager Edgar Ortega.

Also in July, the bulk water project of the Cebu Provincial Government and the Cebu Manila Water Development Inc. is expected to deliver 18,000 cubic meters of water to MCWD, the press release stated.

The supply will benefit consumers from Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion, Lapu-Lapu City and part of Mandaue City. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 14, 2014.

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