THERE is nothing as graphic as the photo of dead tilapia on dry and cracked soil in the Jaclupan dam infiltration pond to illustrate how critical water supply in Metro Cebu is following the recent prolonged dry spell caused by the El Niño phenomenon. No less than the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) emphasized this: 44 areas in Cebu, Talisay and Lapu-Lapu cities and in Liloan town have experienced low pressure to no water supply for 15 hours starting the other day.
The situation has become so worrisome that Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma is planning to issue an Oratio Imperata or special prayer for rains. “Buhaton nato ang atong pag-ampo nga unta ang atong gipangandoy ug gipaabot nga ulan moabot na,” he said. But while waiting for the rain to come, it would be good to listen to MCWD's admonition about water conservation, or for us to stop acting like there is no dry spell.
“Based on our computation, if consumers don't change the way they use water now, it's very alarming,” said MCWD public affairs manager Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara. On this, we list these water conservation tips by the National Water Resources Board of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources:
--Turn the faucet off firmly to prevent leakage. Installing low volume/high pressure nozzles or flow constrictors helps reduce water usage by up to 50 percent.
--Use the water dipper (tabo) and pail (timba) instead of the shower while taking a bath. Instead of running water, use a glass of water while brushing your teeth.
--Buy new, water-efficient toilet bowls that consume only 2.6–4 liters of water for every flush. Old models use up to 14 liters of water per flush.
--Discard leftover food before washing dishes. As much as possible, use a basin (palanggana) to save water as well as dishwashing soap.
--Wash all your clothes at once. Don’t allow the water in your washbasin (batya) to overflow. Reuse water from your laundry to flush your toilet, clean your car, or water your garden plants.
--Instead of a water hose, use only a pail and a towel in washing your car. Water your plants only before sunrise or after sunset to prevent water loss due to vaporization.
--Collect rainwater with pails and basins, and store it for future use (e.g., watering the plants, cleaning the house).
--Report broken pipelines and illegal water connections to proper authorities.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 09, 2016.
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