AS THE United Nations-led World Water Day is slated on March 22, general managers of the water districts in Negros Island and Siquijor urged the consumers to conserve water.
Bacolod City Water District general manager Juliana Carbon gathered her counterparts who are associated with the Negros Island Siquijor Water District Association (Niswada) to spearhead the World Water Day celebration.
Carbon, in a press conference on Wednesday, was joined by Philippine Association of Water Districts Immediate past president and Bayauan Negros Oriental Water District general manager Alma Albrasaldo; Niswada president and Talisay Water District General Manager Manolito Mendoza Jr.; Niswada World Water Day celebration chairperson and assistant general manager for administration Samuel Pinado and assistant general manager for operations Jenelyn Jemora.
Themed "Nature for water," it will be celebrated in all UN member countries.
“It is a fact that we are facing challenges in the supply of water. But we need to have a massive reforestation program and other initiatives to protect the environment because that is the only way we could conserve the water which is not an infinite resource," Carbon said.
"We will celebrate this World Water Day to bring awareness to all that fresh water should be taken care of, should be priced at the right cost and this is the only way that we can raise awareness," Albrasaldo said.
When Negros Island Region was still in effect, these water districts formed their association composed of 13 water districts in Negros Occidental including Bacolod City, six in Negros Oriental and Siquijor, Mendoza said.
Even if the region was already dissolved, they decided to stay together for a cohesive action.
Carbon said having a cohesive association is a step towards water security. "We will be sharing resources in the future, discussing issues about water collectively. We are looking at the future that we will have no more boundaries for the people of Negros Island...If water districts will deal on a government to government, it will be easy to plan."
The general managers admitted they need to increase water cost considering the fact that operational and production costs have increased, too.
But as a government owned and controlled corporation, they have a very strict policy on pricing despite the fact the necessity to do it.
Of all the 552 water districts in the country, 50 water districts have applied for a water rate increase in 2012. But not all applications were approved, Albrasado said.
Baciwa also needs to increase from its average monthly rate of PP208 to P248. But there was no approval yet.
Between April and May, the injection point No. 2 of the Bacolod City Water Bulk Water Supply may reach completion.
The existing one which is operational in Vista Alegre now serves the Bacolod consumers. Its production reached 82 million liters per day (MLD) with a daily off peak demand of 68 to 69 MLD.
But during peak hours, Bulk Water supply lacks around 15 MLD thus a conservation on the use of water is necessary especially during summer time where water supply depletes due to the hot weather condition.