Rains still not enough to replenish MCWD’s water sources

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag May 26,2016 - 10:57 PM
EL NINO/MARCH 16,2016: Despite the presence of water at the Buhisan Dam, MCWD Public Affairs Manager Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara said the Buhisan Dam usually produced 5 thousand to 7 thousand cubic meter of water per day to Cebu City but starting Monday March 14 the Dam completely has Zero supply to the City due to El Nino spell, which will last until June. (CDN PHOTO/FERDINAND EDRALIN)

Production at the Buhisan Dam remains minimal at 500 cubic meters of water per day, way below the normal level of 7,000 cubic meters. The facility and other water sources of MCWD are expected to recover by August at the latest. (CDN PHOTO/FERDINAND EDRALIN)

DESPITE the rains, production at the Jaclupan facility of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) has continued to decline while output from the Buhisan dam has remained minimal.

Charmaine Rodriguez–Kara, MCWD public affairs head, said their facilities, which dried up because of the prolonged El Niño phenomenon, have not recovered. Production might return to normal only in June or July, she said.

“The rainy season started half of May. The rains produced lately are not enough for the water systems to recover,” Kara told Cebu Daily News.

At the Jaclupan small dam or weir, production went down further to 6,500 cubic meters yesterday from 6,700 cubic meters two days ago. Normally, the facility yields 20,000 cubic meters of water.

At the Buhisan Dam, Kara said they have been able to get 500 cubic meters a day since it was opened last week. Production, normally at 7,000 cubic meters, went down to zero at the height of summer in April.

“The Buhisan was not used for two months but it has water left although not substantial. Since we need water for augmentation, we decided to open it,” Kara said.

The public is still advised to store water, especially in interior and elevated areas which continue to experience low pressure to no water.

MCWD currently gets 35,000 cubic meters of water from its bulk suppliers, 1,200 cubic meters from a well in Mandaue City and 4,000 cubic meters from Abejo Water Corporation. The utility has also commissioned four wells in Cebu City that produce 1,200 cubic meters of water round the clock.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) announced the start of rainy season last Tuesday evening.

In Cebu, the average rainfall for May is 100.9 millimeters of rain. Pagasa Mactan was able to record 125.1 millimeters of rain as of 3 p.m. yesterday.

Alice Canasa, a weather specialist from Pagasa Mactan, said the weather will continue to be cloudy with rain showers today until the weekend.

“So far, (there is) no major weather disturbance within the Philippine area of responsibility. Only the southwest monsoon has affected the weather system that brings rains and thunderstorms,” she said.

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