Plan to build 10-20 reservoirs more than a pipe dream, MCWD assures

THE Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) will build 10 to 20 reservoirs in the next two years so that water distribution will continue even during brownouts, an official said.

The water district will also start implementing its Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (Scada) system to respond to consumer complaints faster.

The system was introduced during a press conference yesterday. Through the Scada system, MCWD said it will be able to easily identify which areas have low water pressure and act on it promptly.

One year from now, MCWD General Manager Ernie Delco said, the Scada system will be operational.

In a press statement, the MCWD said that its Scada system project is funded by a P679-million grant (about 1.6 billion yen) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Officials signed the contract with the winning bidder, Hitachi-Yokogawa Joint Venture, in Japan. The project was developed after a twinning program of the MCWD with the Yokohama Water Corp. Ltd.

“Like a well-managed traffic system that ensures efficient traffic flow, MCWD will also get real-time data on water pressure and reservoir supply, as well as remotely switch on or off pumps and close or open valves,” the press statement read.

The Scada system will also help MCWD manage its “non-revenue water” because once a sudden drop in water pressure is observed, the district can right away send a team to check for leaks.

Delco said these changes will be at no additional cost to MCWD consumers.

“Scada is not intended to increase water production but to improve the distribution of water,” Delco told reporters.

A blackout in Metro Cebu early last Thursday, after the Visayan Electric Company lost its connection to its power supply from the Leyte grid, again showed that MCWD consumers suffer from inconvenience whenever power supply is lost.

Usually, Delco said, water flow gets interrupted if there is a leakage or brownout.

MCWD is eyeing to put a reservoir in Barangay Mactan in Lapu-Lapu City, Lagtang in Talisay and in areas in Cebu City including Oprra, Tisa and Nivel Hills in Apas, so that water distribution will not be disrupted.

Other areas will still be determined.

Each reservoir will be able to store 500,000 liters.

Delco said that MCWD allotted P50 million to build concrete and steel water reservoirs, which will be done within three years from now. This way, water can be stored and the distribution won’t be interrupted even during brownouts.

Engr. Astrophel Logarta, department manager for MCWD’s production and distribution unit, said that even short brownouts can have a huge effect on water distribution.

Logarta said they still have to pressurize the system so it’s not easy to restore water supply to every household after an interruption.

The MCWD, he said, has generator sets that can produce water from its reservoirs in case the regular power supply is interrupted.

He said that MCWD has tried to ask Veco if they can exempt the well field from rotational brownouts, but there are just areas that would still be affected.
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