Water supply shortage is not only being experienced in Metro Manila and Rizal, but also in Metro Cebu.
Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) Spokesperson Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara said, “The supply shortage is caused by the lowering of the water table and pollution of sources due to septic waste and long-term use of fertilizers.”
Kara revealed that even without El Niño, the MCWD is only serving 43% of the Metro Cebu’s requirements due to the insufficient supply and fast increasing demand.
The Jaclupan and Buhisan dams, have been supplying water for the MCWD customers in Compostela and Talisay areas.
Currently, the water production of Jaclupan has been reduced from 33,000 cu. m. to 23,400 cu.m per day, while Buhisan has decreased from 5,000 cu.m. to 1,000 cu.m. per day, which resulted in a total deficit of 13,600 cu.m. per day.
Among the areas affected by the lowering of Buhisan Dam water level, include, elevated parts of Banawam Horseshoe Drive, Capitol Site, Oppra, Ipil-ipil, Camputhaw, Clavano, Sambag 1, Sambag 2, F. Ramos B. Rodriguez, Juana Osmeña, Pier Area, North Reclamation Area, MJ Cuenco Ave., M. Velez
Meanwhile, Jaclupan facility’s reduced production has affected the elevated areas of Talisay City, and downtown Cebu City.
MCWD has 450,000 cu.m. water demand per day from its customers, but it is now only capable of supplying 228,000 cu.m. daily.
This prompted the said water concessionaire to implement rotational water interruption. It also came up with a plan of building up an additional 4 wells as its short-term solution. Its management is also planning to have a major dam project as its long-term response to the problem.
The MCWD expects the shortage to continue until June this year. — Freema Salonga-Gloria
Despite the rising water level in Angat Dam, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has expressed concern about the possibility of another water crisis next year.
The NWRB said that if Angat Dam fails to reach its normal operating level, Metro Manila might experience another shortage come dry season.
Because of this, Congressman Ruffy Biazon, during the House Committee on Metro Manila Development hearing on Wednesday (August 28), recommended the use of Laguna Lake as a permanent source of domestic water.
This aims to address the shortage of water supply in Metro Manila and its neighboring cities and provinces in case the water level in Angat Dam recedes anew.
“Kasi iilan lang yung nakikinabang doon eh. Pinagkakakitaan yung Laguna Lake hindi para sa paggamit ng ordinaryong mamayan kung hindi sa paggamit ng mga interes ng kumpanya,” Biazon said.
The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) agreed that this can be done, although they admit that they do not have the funding to conduct dredging in the lake.
They also cited the expense that will be incurred in treating and eliminating the saltwater from Manila Bay that gets combined to the water in the lake.
Add to this is the fast-increasing formation of algae which affects the quality of the water.
“Ang Laguna Lake kaya niyang i-supply ang requirement for domestic water supply as source of domestic water. Ang problema lang is more on the water quality,” said Engr. Emiterio Hernandez of the LLDA.
To date, Maynilad and Manila Water get a small percentage of water supply from Laguna Lake for their customers in Metro Manila, Laguna, Rizal, Cavite, and Bulacan.
Meanwhile, water levels in several dams are continuously increasing due to the rains being experienced in the country.
As of 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, the water level in Angat Dam has reached 181.74 meters.
Ipo Dam water level, on the other hand, has gone up to 11.82 meters; while that of La Mesa Dam went up to 77.18. (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – Concessionaires, Manila Water Co. Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. have submitted a “notice of force majeure” to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) amid the worsening water shortage in Metro Manila.
MWSS chief regulator Patrick Ty said on Tuesday, the “force majeure” was filed by concessionaires as a defense to the water troubles being felt in the metropolis amid declining water level in Angat Dam.
The notice, under the concession agreement, exempts the contracting parties from fulfilling their contractual obligations for causes that could not be anticipated and/or are beyond their control.
It also suspends some portions of the utility firms’ service obligations for natural and unavoidable catastrophes that interrupt the expected course of events.
During the oversight hearing conducted by the House Committees on Metro Manila development, public works and highways and natural resources, Ty said the notice would be discussed and decided upon by the MWSS Board of Trustees on Wednesday.
“But we reiterated to them that they are not exempted from all obligations… We repeatedly told concessions to follow the requirement to provide notices to the public or else this could be a violation to the agreement,” Ty said.
“They have to make sure that the notices are correct and they keep their schedules, there’s also the issue of quality of water,” he added.
The MWSS in April imposed a P1.13 billion fine against the Manila Water for failing to meet service requirements. Half of the penalty was supposed to go to customers in refund.
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