Provincial water management body seeks passage of water code

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo April 04,2019 - 09:52 PM

Water levels of the Buhisan Dam, one of the major sources of water of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), have gone down due to the dry spell brought about by the weak El Niño. | CDN FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Amid scarcity of water supply due to the effect of the weak El Niño,  the Provincial Water Resources Authority (PWRA) hopes that the Provincial Board (PB) will prioritize the passage of the water code.

Engineer Edgar Sibonga, executive director of the PWRA, said their draft of the water code had been submitted to the office of Board Member Thadeo Jovito Ouano, who chairs the Committee on Environment, last November 2018.

“The water code addresses the need to conserve the ecosystem and the water management areas,” Sibonga said.

The water code provides for the monitoring of water extraction facilities to prevent over-pumping which leads to saltwater intrusion or the mixture and contamination of seawater to the potable groundwater.

The Water Code of the Province of Cebu, which is the first legislation with the framework patterned to the Global Water Partnership Securing Sustainable Water, sets guidelines on water sanitation, watershed management, water quality management, the resilience of water resources during water-related calamities like the El Niño and governance on water extraction.

Sibonga said that one of the challenges in water management was the policing over non-permitted water drillers because they would contribute to over-extraction.

The incident would lead to the contamination of the fresh water underground with saltwater, making the groundwater no longer potable.

Read more: El Niño Phenomenon: Cebu province under state of calamity

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) Head Baltazar Tribunalo, in a separate interview, said that over-extraction, which would lead to saltwater intrusion, had become one of their challenges with the looming dry season.

“Dapat i-regulate nato nga bisan asa lang nagdrilll sa source sa tubig. Karon sa Kinatarcan Island, taas kaayo og level sa pagsulod sa tubig dagat sa ilang groundwater,” said Tribunalo.

Tribunalo said that they are now looking at having a desalination facility in Kinatarcan Island to address the concern on lack of potable water due to salt water intrusion./dbs

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: Code, El Niño, groundwater, overextraction, PDRRMO, Sibonga, water

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.