Cebu assured of water supply despite El Niño

Dale G. Israel

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Cebu assured of water supply despite El Niño
The Metro Cebu Water District says it has reserves which can last until July this year or at the expected end of the El Niño phenomenon

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The local water district here has given assurances that there will be no water shortage in Metro Cebu as the country braces for a dry spell.


Ernie Delco, general manager of the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) attributed this to the additional supply from a bulk water project in a river in Carmen town.


In January, the initial phase of the Carmen bulk water supply project added at least 18,000 cubic meters per day. It sources water from the town’s Luyang river.


Delco said on Wednesday, March 18, the El Niño will not effect the water supply for the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, and Talisay, and for the towns of Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion, and Cordova.


He said that MCWD has reserves which can last until July this year or at the expected end of the El Niño phenomenon.


The MCWD is purchasing bulk water from the multi-billion consortium Cebu-Manila Water Development, which is operating at the Luyang river.


The Luyang river project is part of the 20-year contract between the MCWD and the Ayala-led consortium which will add up in phases a total of 35,000 cubic meters of water per day. The water purchased has a flat rate of P24.59 per cubic meter for 20 years.


The old Buhisan Dam, an MCWD source, has dropped water production to only 6,000 cubic meters from 8,000 a day because of the dry spell. But according to MCWD production division manager Rebecca Husayan, it has little effect on the supply because the dam now only provides 3% of the total water production of 220,000 cubic meters per day.


Most of MCWD’s water supply is from wells. According to Delco, they target to avoid deep well as this will increase salt water intrusion. He said salt water intrusion in Cebu City has already reached 10 kilometers inland.


With the bulk water supply project sourced from surface water, MCWD hopes to ease the salt water intrusion problem. –

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