Water rationing expected in Metro Cebu next year

By: Vanessa Claire Lucero December 02,2015 - 01:26 AM

WATER may be rationed in some parts of Metro Cebu in April and May next year, when surface water sources are expected to dry up and supply runs short because of the El Niño phenomenon.

Edgar Ortega, acting manager of the production and distribution department of the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD), said the impact of the El Niño  is expected to be fully felt  in  January to May 2016.

But Cebu will still have water from Buhisan Dam and Jaclupan weir in Talisay City, which produce about 40,000 cubic meters of water daily, in the first quarter.

Water supply from both facilities is expected to last three months even without rainwater replenishment.

“By April, there will be around 34,000 cubic meters of water shortage,” Ortega said. The figure was based on the 2010 production from the two facilities, which went down to 6,000 cubic meters a day.

To offset the projected loss, MCWD has commissioned the operation of five wells in Cubacub, Pit-os, Mandaue 1, Suba-basbas, and the Cabancalan well of Abejo Waters Corp.

The Cebu Manila Water Development (CMWD), Inc. has also been commissioned to supply 11,000 cubic meters per day starting January 2016. This will be on top of the 24,000 cubic meters that it supplies daily.

Together, all six wells will be able to produce 29,400 cubic meters of water a day.

“MCWD will also implement a distribution management or rationing in affected areas,” said Ortega.

The utility is looking into getting an additional three water trucks, each capable of holding as much as 10 cubic meters of water, for distribution. MCWD currently has three water trucks.

The utility also desilts Buhisan and Jaclupan regularly to decrease non-revenue water, or water that is lost due to pilferage, leaks and facility damage, and preventive maintenance for pumps. As of

September this year, non-revenue water has decreased to 21 percent from the previous 26 percent.

DEMAND

Demand for water is expected to peak in December 2015 and January 2016, said MCWD spokesperson Charmaine Rodriguez.

“Demand will be high in January because of the IEC (International Eucharistic Congress) and Sinulog,” she said.

“MCWD is also the source of water for soft drink and beer companies,” she added. Beverage companies normally have higher water requirements during holidays and festivals because of the higher demand for their products.

Metro Cebu requires around 220,000 liters of water daily.

“Based on actual monitoring of our water facilities,  water levels are good. There has been no decrease yet,” said Ortega.

Rainfall has decreased because of the El Niño phenomenon.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Mactan weather station noted a 33. 4 percent reduction in rainfall in October.

From December 2015 to January 2016, a significant reduction of rainfall over most watershed areas is expected.

By the end March 2016, the weather bureau said 85 percent of the country, including Cebu province, will experience drought,.

Rodriguez appealed anew to households to each conserve at least 10 liters of water per person day.

“That’s equivalent to two flushes in the toilet,” said Rodriguez. If everybody does her or his part, Rodriguez said up to 8,619 cubic meters of water will be saved per day.

Based on data from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, majority of water consumption in Filipino households is for personal hygiene (23 percent) and sanitation services (20 percent). These are two areas where consumers can conserve water, she added.

MCWD also advised consumers to check faucets, pipes and toilets for possible leaks.

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TAGS: Buhisan Dam, Cebu, Jaclupan, MCWD, Metro Cebu, Metro Cebu Water District'

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