MCWD: Despite rains, water supply still drops
CEBU CITY, Philippines–The Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) warned its consumers that water supply still dropped despite the regular rains brought by the southwest monsoon.
In a press statement, the MCWD has announced a 13,000 cubic meter drop of water supply due to the low supply of groundwater wells and saltwater intrusion in one of them.
MCWD said that although the rains helped return the surface water sources–the Buhisan and Jaclupan Dams–to normal levels, it could not easily replenish the water underground, which makes up 80 percent of the water supply of the MCWD.
MCWD also reported the shut down of a groundwater well in Consolacion following the increased level of chlorine.
“Rising chloride levels indicate saltwater intrusion in groundwater wells, which comprises majority of MCWD’s water sources,” said MCWD.
The supplier and the MCWD tried various ways to treat the water for several weeks, but they decided to stop its operations since the continuous pumping may place other nearby wells at risk of seawater intrusion.
The shutdown of the private supplier’s well resulted in a reduction of the daily production by 7,000 cubic meters per day, affecting the water availability of consumers in parts of Consolacion and Mandaue City.
Furthermore, an added 3,000 cu. m. was lost in the daily production due to the reduction of the daily yield of Cebu Manila Water Development (CMWD) Inc.’s plant in Carmen, Cebu, which provides 35,000 cubic meter of water to MCWD supplying the Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion, parts of Mandaue and the Mactan island areas.
Similarly, the production of MCWD’s Talamban wells have gone down by another 3,000 cubic meters per day, affecting consumers in Barangays Banilad, Luz, parts of Lahug and Kamputhaw and Apas.
The MCWD attributes these drops to the supply to the overextraction of groundwater. Only 40 percent of the groundwater in Metro Cebu day in and day out is pumped by MCWD, while the 60 percent of the extraction is done by private well owners, both domestic and commercial.
They are calling for public vigilance against illegal wells or those operating without permits from the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), since these illegal wells are competing with the supply of MCWD and and other government-regulated wells.
MCWD urged its consumers to store water during the off-peak hours or anytime water is available from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The water district is also urging the public to start a lifestyle of conservation and to recycle used water and stored rainwater. /bmjo
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