El Niño impact: 30M liters of water lost due to dry spell, says MCWD

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 14,2024 - 12:41 PM

El Niño impact: 30M liters of water lost due to dry spell, says MCWD

The dry spell has significantly hit the production of one of MCWD’s water facilities. This one is in Jaclupan in Cebu City.| Contributed photo/MCWD Public Information Division

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The hot season brought by the El Niño has significantly impacted the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) water facility.

It was evident in the production of MCWD’s surface water facilities in Barangay Jaclupan in Talisay City and Barangay Lusaran in Cebu City, said MCWD Chair, Lawyer Jose Daluz III, in a phone interview on Thursday, March 14.

READ: La Niña Watch issued, El Niño weakened, says Pagasa

El Niño impact: Drop in facilities’ production

The production in both facilities in Jaclupan and in Lusaran dropped from 30 million liters to 20 million liters or equivalent to 30,000 cubic meters per day (CMD) to 20,000 CMD.

Meanwhile, the production in the Buhisan Dam fell to 4,000 CMD (4 million liters) from 6,000 CMD (6 million liters).

Daluz said that there were around 30 million liters of water lost due to the dry spell brought by the El Niño.

The average production of MCWD was 301 million liters (301,000 CMD), but with the 30 million drop, it was now around 272 million liters (272,000 CMD) production because of the reduced capacity due to the dry spell, Daluz said.

READ: El Nino waning, La Nina to develop in second half of 2024


With this crisis, Daluz said that they were also working on the desalination water project for the plants in Cebu City, Cordova, and Mandaue City.

Daluz said that the plants in Barangay Mambaling in Cebu City, Barangay Opao in Mandaue City, and in Cordova would be expected to generate 10 million liters each, initially, but the total would be 75 million liters once fully operational.

“There should really [be] a need to operate sa desal[ination] nga I hope by April [it can be worked on]. Mao may saad sa atong contractor, and then the permit side, mahimo nga wala nay problema sa permit so that we can already operate our desal[ination] para lang ni sa hulit sa nawa nato nga [water],” Daluz said.

(There should really be a need to operate a desalination that I hope by April [it can be worked on]. That is what our contractor promised, and then the permit side, that will not become a permit problem so that we can already operate our desalination so that this can be used to replace the water that we lost.)

He also hoped that the figures lost would not increase in the future because of the dry spell.

Moreover, Daluz said that the MCWD had also acquired eight water trucks that would serve waters in the “service areas.” These areas usually suffer from low water pressure which can be found in some barangays in Talisay City, Cebu City, and Mandaue City.

He said that among the barangays in Talisay City would be in Lagtang, Maghaway, and Pooc; Cebu City are in Barangay Lahug and Guadalupe, and in Mandaue City are Barangays Cabancalan, Maguikay, and Umapad.

READ: El Niño, La Niña together? What to know

El Niño and gov’t permits

Furthermore, Daluz also confirmed that among the challenges that the MCWD faced in the water crisis was the non-issuance of the excavation permits for their projects.

With Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama’s call on stopping all road excavations, Daluz hoped that the city government would exempt them from this order because they had “justified diggings” that cover the “emergency and leak repair, and other urgent and necessary repairs of the pipes.”

Because of the El Niño, Daluz hoped that the issuance of the permits would be hastened so they could already lay down their pipes.

“Hopefully, kadiyot lang ning El Niño then atong tubig mobalik na sa iyang normal nga capacity and we can give water to the people,” he said.

(Hopefully, the El Niño will only be a short one then our water will return to its normal capacity and we can give water to the people.)

Dry spell in Cebu

According to The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration stationed (Pagasa) in Mactan said in their El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Advisory No. 9, El Niño will likely persist until March-April-May 2024 season with a transition to ENSO-neutral in April-May-June 2024 season.

Jhomer Eclarino, Pagasa Mactan weather specialist, told CDN Digital in February that in Central Visayas, Cebu and Negros Oriental could experience a dry spell, while Siquijor and Bohol could experience dry condition.

Eclarino said that dry spell would refer to the three consecutive months of below normal rainfall conditions, while dry condition would refer to the two consecutive months of below normal rainfall conditions.

Moreover, Eclarino said since last year, Pagasa had already informed the public about the El Niño season, therefore they should have prepared for its effects.


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TAGS: El Niño, La Niña, MCWD water facility

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