Cebu News

Buhisan Dam at ‘critical level’

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo, Jessa Agua - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines- The Metropolitan Cebu Water District yesterday said Buhisan Dam is now at a critical level due to the dry season.

MCWD public affairs manager Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara, however, assured consumers that despite this situation there is sufficient water supply.

“It’s not unusual because every time naay dry season or minimal na kaayo ang pag-uwan, mosugod na gyud na siya og kanaog ang volume of water inside the dam,” she said, adding that water level started dropping last month.

Kara said the 104-year-old Buhisan Dam is one of MCWD’s surface water sources, which only accounts 40 percent of the utility firm’s daily production.

She said that majority of their water supply, or 202,000 cubic meters per day, is from ground water sources.

“(And) with the entry of the water from the Carmen Bulk Water supply, the production has gone up to 220,000 cubic meters per day maong dili ma-affected ang water consumers (of less water sourced from Buhisan Dam),” Kara said.

The Carmen Bulk Water started supplying 18,000 cubic meters per day to MCWD last January 2015, and the volume is expected to reach 35,000 cubic meters in January 2016.

Buhisan Dam, Kara said, has three tributary springs from the upper barangays of Cebu City and water from these springs has lessened due to the dry season.

 “In our own production, we define it as critical level pero we would like to assure our consumers nga dili gyud maapektohan ang supply even if modugay ang atong dry season,” she said.

She revealed a recent inspection showed that the dam is supplying just 3,000 cubic meters per day, is 57 percent less than its average volume of 7,000 cubic meters per day.

She said that the worst time when the dam had zero water supply was in 2012.

Kara, though, said that aside from the Carmen Bulk Water supply, MCWD is tapping a well in Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City for an additional 1,200 cubic meters per day.

She was thankful that MCWD’s Jaclupan facility in Talisay City, the other surface water source of the utility firm, is not yet affected by the dry season.

“Wala pa naapektohan ang iyang volume because of the pump management pud. Among gibuhat is dili dunganon ang pagdagan sa mga pumps, atong gipuli-puli para ma-maximize nato ang pag-extract sa volume,” she said.

Buhisan Dam and Jaclupan have a combined production of 45,000 cubic meters per day.

Kara said the dam’s condition will not affect water supply since MCWD is implementing distribution management.

“The water nga gi-share sa central Metro Cebu and northern Cebu, mao na atong gi-manage nga ang katong northern areas nga gi-supply-yan sa central nga mga wells dili na kay concentrated na ang central wells sa south,” she said.

MCWD is also maintaining a backup supply of about seven percent of daily demand from its 160,000 service connections.

“Wala pa tay advisory to the pulbic but akong isulti gyud nga conservation should be a lifestyle, dili lang buhaton during El Niño and summer months,” she said.

Meanwhile, the country’s weather bureau said the hot temperature Cebu is experiencing is not yet due to the onset of “summer” but is a prelude to the weak El Niño predicted to affect the country this year.

Oscar Tabada, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration Visayas director, said the El Niño phenomenon is the one causing the heat.

He also clarified that the Philippines does not have “summer” despite its common usage since the country only has two seasons: dry and wet (rainy).

“We call it dry season not summer; unlike in other nations that have four seasons: winter, summer, fall, autumn,” he said.

“We have to wait for the formal announcement from the (PAGASA) national office (as to the start of the dry season),” he added.

Yesterday’s weather forecast stated Central Visayas would experience a relatively sunny weather with isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms.  (FREEMAN)



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