Mananga 2 dam needed to avert shortage – JICA
Japanese consultants suggest reviving a plan to build a second high dam in the Mananga watershed at a cost of P6 billion.
This would avert a water shortage for Metro Cebu in 2030, they said, but the cost and dislocation of at least 500 households in Cebu city remains a major obstacle.
“When you try to relocate people, especially if they have livelihood in the area already, it’s going to be war. You are not only fighting against the people themselves but also some of the officials,” said MCWD acting general manager Ernie Delco.
The proposal was discussed in a meeting at the Capitol yesterday, where highlights of the 3rd interim report of JICA for a road map for sustainable urban development in Metro Cebu tackled future water demand.
Present were government agencies, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, Evelyn Nacario-Castro and Dominica Chua of the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB), and Regional Executive Director Isabelo Montejo of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
JICA said the Mananga II dam could be 70 meters high and built at a cost of P6 billion, which JICA said was “affordable.”
Years ago when JICA proposed a P10-billion 90-meter dam, the problem of relocating households was also encountered.
The dam would affect 500 households in three barangays including Sinsin and Pamutan in Cebu City, and Campo IV in Talisay City
“The effect will depend on the height of the dam. Those living in the mountains will probably not be affected but those in the valley will be flooded,” Delco said.
JICA said they already initiated dialogs with the barangay chairmen.
Delco said the project, if it gets approved, needs the support of the Cebu City mayor and City Council since the site of the dam is in the city.
Once completed, the dam can pump 77,000 cubic meters (cu. m.) of water per day and service 55,000 households all over Cebu.
Delco said the new cost estimate was still quite expensive and would affect the price of water to consumers.
While JICA said the new project estimates would make the price of water affordable, Delco said MCWD will still has to review this.
Delco said the government needs to subsidize the costs to bring water rates down. “But the government is not bent on giving it,” he said.
MCWD produces water at more than P10 per cubic meter and sells it to the marginalized sector at P15.20 per cubic meter.
He said while residents in Manila get free water from their dams, Cebuanos don’t.
Delco acknowledged the need for new water sources.
“If we don’t have Mananga, then we will have a small deficit in supply (after) 2020,” he said.
By 2020, JICA projects that 282,104 cubic meters of water will be required per day while MCWD will have a supply potential of 341,552 cu. m. per day.
Come 2030, Cebu will have a deficit of 29,037 cubic meters of water per day.
Delco said MCWD will have no problems in water supply for the next five years.
He said they are waiting for the completion of dams in Carmen and Cordova towns and Danao City.
JICA’s feasibility study for the dams will be submitted to the MCDCB in March this year.
The board, which has representatives of 13 towns and cities in Metro Cebu, is headed by Gov. Davide with Roberto Aboitiz and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama as co-chairmen.
Delco said a bidding would have to be called and that the construction of the dam would take two years
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