AFTER the downpours in the past few weeks, Pagasa yesterday said El Niño is back.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) warned the public that it’s going to be “very hot” in the days ahead.

Pagasa Visayas Director Oscar Tabada said the rains toward the end of the month and in August and September will be shorter.

Tabada said the public must learn lessons from El Niño from last March to May when it was hot and water was scarce.

Pagasa-Mactan chief Al Quiblat said the greatest effect of El Nino is expected in the last quarter of the year, with the phenomenon continuing until the first quarter of next year.

“The people must optimize daily consumption to save water. If there are still rains in the next few weeks, please find ways to store rainwater. Take precautionary measures to minimize the effect of heat stress due to increasing temperature,” Quiblat said.

Tabada and Quiblat said Pagasa will regularly release El Niño forecasts.

General Manager Ernie Delco of Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) said the recent heavy rains restored to normal the water supply level in their water source in Jaclupan, Talisay City and Buhisan Dam in Cebu City.

Water production

Last May, when El Niño was at its peak, MCWD’s Jaclupan well, which has a total daily water production of 33,000 cubic meters a day, only had 10,000 cubic meters per day.

When the first heavy rain came last June 1, water production in Jaclupan increased to 16,000 cubic meters.

The maximum water production capacity was restored last week.

Last July 4, Delco said MCWD officials and personnel, several of whom are members of the MCWD Employees Union (MEU), volunteered in the Jaclupan cleanup.

MEU Vice President Abegail Apawan Almeria told Sun.Star Cebu they wanted to maximize rainwater storage while there is still rain.

“It has been reported by Pagasa that El Niño could extend until early next year. We help widen the water storage as much as possible,” Almeria said.