OFFICIALS of Cebu's main water supplier said yesterday they are now halfway to completely producing more than the normal amount of water for all its customers.

The Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) yesterday also signed a joint venture agreement (JVA) with a private firm to provide bulk water to an upland barangay in Cebu City.

In a press conference yesterday, MCWD officials said they are now close to producing their normal capacity of 174,000 cubic meters a day, with more than 170,000 cubic meters being distributed daily so far by the Jaclupan diversion weir in Talisay City.

But Henry Mejor, MCWD division manager for production, said they are still monitoring their pipes and wells in case there's system loss or leakage.

Mejor said eight of 15 water pumps in the Jaclupan weir are operational but under close supervision.

During the peak of El Niño, the Jaclupan weir produced more than 146,000 cubic meters a day and used only three pumps.

While the Jaclupan diversion weir is close to normal production, the Buhisan dam has yet to start operations as MCWD is still in the final stages of cleaning it up after de-siltation.

Currently, they are cleaning the dam's drain pipes before they begin using it, said Mejor.

The Buhisan dam has a maximum capacity of 186,000 cubic meters of water and can produce more than 10,000 cubic meters a day.

Underground spring

Mejor said that while the dam has an underground spring, it still depends on rains to fully refill itself.

MCWD is also monitoring their 120 deep wells in Metro Cebu, which has a full capacity of 100,000 cubic meters a day.

However, MCWD said there are some areas in Metro Cebu, particularly those that are highly elevated, that cannot be

reached by their services.

With that, MCWD general manager Armando Paredes signed a JVA between their office and that of Abejo Builders Corp. to provide more than 2,000 cubic meters of bulk water a day to residents in Barangay Apas, Cebu City.

The JVA was the second made so far between MCWD and Abejo Builders Corp. within the year, said Paredes.

Last month, MCWD and Abejo Builders signed a JVA to supply more than 2,000 cubic meters daily to residents of Barangay Lahug.

The second JVA with Abejo Builders Corp. has pegged an initial price of P14.78 per cubic meter.

Paredes said the JVAs they have signed with other private companies are focused on providing water to elevated areas in Metro Cebu.

With Abejo Builders Corp, they have signed a total of four JVAs mostly focusing on Talisay City, Consolacion and Cebu City, said Paredes.

But the JVA will not take effect until after six months, as they expect to connect the injection points to Abejo's main source.

Aside from Abejo Builders Corp, MCWD has also signed JVAs with other private firms such as Pilipinas Water Resources Inc. for providing bulk water in BC Homes in Lahug.

Paredes said they expect to sign three other JVAs with the two companies.