MCWD ‘won’t waste water’-A A +A
Saturday, August 17, 2013
THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) cannot heed the request of Barangay Buhisan officials and the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CCDRRMO) to release a quarter of the water of Buhisan Dam.
The request was meant to prevent the dam from spilling over during rainy days like what happened last Aug. 5.
Assistant general manager Ernie Delco said doing so will mean wasting more than six meters of water since the dam is 27 meters high.
Each meter carries around 9,000 cubic meters of water.
During the rainy season, the dam produces 10,000 cubic meters of water, which is filtered by the Tisa Filtration Facility to make it potable.
“The spillover happens once in a blue moon. We cannot just waste the water from the dam because of something that we are not even sure would happen,” said Delco.
Barangay Captain Ramil Rago earlier asked MCWD to keep only three-fourths of water in the dam to accommodate heavy rainfall.
Buhisan residents as well as city officials were concerned when the dam overflowed during a heavy downpour.
The spillover early this month was only the second time it happened this year. On the average, the dam spills over once or twice a year.
The entire dam has a capacity of 250,000 cubic meters of water.
Silt, though, continues to plague the dam.
Roads in the barangay are too narrow for heavy equipment to pass through, which makes the desilting.
MCWD implements manual desilting, hauling around 10,000 cubic meters of silt.
On the average, accumulated silt in the dam can be as much as 40,000 cubic meters at one time. This is roughly 16 percent of the entire dam.
Delco said MCWD cannot desilt during the rainy season because the dam is filled to the rim.
The agency has to wait until February when the dam’s water volume is half of or less than the entire reservoir capacity.
He said they already have a game plan to better use the silt that will be taken out of the dam.
This is the main reason the agency needs the heavy equipment to desilt, so the silt can be transported to other areas like Block 27 at the North Reclamation Area or any reclaimed property.
But next year, Delco said, MCWD intends to make a dike or abatement so the silt gathered from the reservoir will not find its way back to the dam.
The current practice is to dump the silt in different areas of the barangay.
Meanwhile, MCWD hopes the Cebu City Government can help implement projects that will prevent landslides from eroding an area in Barangay Toong, which is an essential passageway to Barangay Buhisan.
Delco said an interceptor canal can help stop erosion.
CCDRRMO operations officer Alvin Santillana said benching of mountain barangay roads is also an option to prevent landslides or rock fall.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 17, 2013.