Low water supply
With the summer season in full swing, it is the Metro Cebu consumers who will feel the full brunt of the water shortage warned of by the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) last week.
In issuing the warning, the MCWD assured that it will bid out the construction of three additional dams to augment Metro Cebu’s water supply within the year. The crisis isn’t immediate as the water district projected that it will be five to seven years before Metro Cebu experiences an acute water shortage in full.
If the bidding goes as scheduled, the earliest projected completion of the first dam, the Mananga Dam, is set at 2025 or a full seven years in time for the water shortage to occur.
The P5.7 billion Mananga Dam is expected to produce 64,000 cubic meters of water daily which can augment the current capacity of 230,000 cubic meters distributed daily by MCWD for its consumers and the output is considered normal, though it is substantially lower than the ideal output of 300,000.
As schedules for government and even private sector initiated projects go—the MCWD is a government owned and controlled corporation (GOCC)–there is no iron clad assurance that the Mananga Dam will be completed on or before 2025 given that the MCWD’s plans to build the dams were shelved as early as 2016 due to lack of funding.
The construction boom may mean more tax revenue for local governments but also increased demand for decreasing supply of potable water which could affect Metro Cebu households.
Compounding the problem is the MCWD’s admission of increased intrusion of salt water and nitrate contamination in their wells which reduces the volume of available potable water for Metro Cebu.
The situation may not look dire now (?) but it’s not uncommon and in fact had become increasingly frequent for households to experience low to no water supply for hours and even days on end and more often than now, our faucets either dry up or flow to a trickle at the most ungodly hours.
This is a reality dealt with by Cebu consumers on a worsening level in the past few years and more often than not, we leave it to the MCWD or the local officials to solve the water shortage.
But while they struggle to contract the loans to fund construction of the three dams, commercial establishments and households should also do their part to maximize both conservation and use of the water supply to avoid more dry faucets in the immediate future.
Aside from stocking up and strictly avoiding indiscriminate waste of water, Cebu based residents and visitors can also help their local governments in installing septic tanks that can properly dispose of fecal wastes that pollute the water supply.
Until the MCWD can fasttrack completion of the dams, private water suppliers, businesses and households should all pitch in to help extend and maximize use of Metro Cebu’s declining water supply.
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