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MCWD: 5% of clients affected: Lack of water in Metro Cebu

Buhisan Dam. Photo By Aldo Nelbert Banaynal

CEBU, Philippines - The problem on the lack of water supply has become real for close to 10,000 households in Cebu City and in other areas of Metro Cebu.

This is because the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) has closed the Buhisan dam in order to remove the silt in preparation for the rainy season.

MCWD’s acting public affairs manager Edna Inocando explained that the Buhisan water dam usually contributes about 10,000 cubic meters of water everyday or equivalent to 2,000 barrels, but it ran out of water since last month due to the prolonged El Niño phenomenon.

The 100-year-old Buhisan dam augments the water supply from MCWD’s 15 wells that are situated in different places in Metro Cebu.

According to Inocando, five percent of MCWD’s 126,000 water consumers or 6,300 households are getting their water supply from wells that are dependent on the Buhisan dam.

Incocando added that the series of rotation brown outs implemented by the Visayan Electric Company (Veco) also compounded the problem, because their pumps were affected and could no longer extract water from the aquifer.

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Veco has also been forced to implement rotation brown outs because of the shortage of power supply from the National Grid Corporation.

Although MCWD has water reservoirs in different areas of the city, but such will run out of water in just a matter of 30 minutes and it will take about three to four hours for the pumps to fully fill in the reservoirs after the power returns.

Inocando explained that MCWD used to have an average production of 170,000 cubic meters everyday under normal conditions, but this month it only generates 157,714 cubic meters while the daily water demand is 172,873 cubic meters or a deficit of 15,159 cubic meters.

The areas where the lack of water supply is experienced are M.J. Cuenco Avenue, sitio Lumar in barangay Lorega-San Miguel, MacArthur Boulevard, the Port area, Banawa in Guadalupe, M. Velez Street, Camputhaw and some elevated portions of Lahug and other mountain barangays.

Those areas that have experienced having no water at all are Oppra Unit 1, II and III in barangay Kalunasan and the elevated portions of barangay Guadalupe.

As one way to address the water needs of the affected residents, Inocando said MCWD is delivering water to these affected areas utilizing the water district’s three water tanks, but they cannot cope with the demand.

Inocando advised the public to use water wisely.

In some areas, the residents wait until midnight while others wake up at early dawn hoping to get water.

The lack of water in the Cebu City irked the business sector especially the farmers in the mountain barangays.

City agriculturist Joel Baclayon reported to the Department of Agriculture that about P131 million worth of crops, particularly the flower plantations and vegetables were destroyed due to lack of water.   (FREEMAN NEWS) –/NLQ


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