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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Dry season starts

Are we dry yet? Yes, we are. Children play with their kites on the dried-up riverbed of Mananga in Talisay City. They have fewer than three weeks before their summer vacation can start. (Yes, no such thing as “summer” exists in the Philippines, but no one calls it a “dry season vacation” either.)  (Sun.Star Foto/Alex Badayos)

THE dry season has only recently started, but the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MWCD) confirmed yesterday that Buhisan Dam is drying up and is already at a “critical” level.

The MCWD, however, assured the public that there will be no water shortage because it gets additional water from the Carmen Bulk Water Supply Project.



In an interview yesterday, MCWD public affairs manager Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara said the volume of water from Buhisan Dam has gone down starting last month because of the heat.

From the usual 7,000 cubic meters of water per day, Kara said, Buhisan Dam now only produces 3,000 cubic meters of water per day.

“But this is not unusual because every time there’s dry season or there’s minimal rain, mosugod gyud na ug kanaog ang volume of water inside the dam (the dam’s water level starts to drop). The Buhisan Dam has three tributary springs in the mountain barangay that supplies its water, and during the dry season, we know that the water level in these springs also drops,” she said.

“On our own, we define it as a critical level, but we would like to assure the consumers nga di gyud maapektuhan ang ilang supply even if modugay pa ang dry season (that their supply will not suffer, even if the dry season lasts long),” she said.

Asked why, Kara explained that Buhisan Dam is not the main water source of MCWD.

Surface water sources, such as the Buhisan Dam, compose about 40 percent of MCWD’s daily water production while the remaining others are groundwater sources, which are not as easily affected during dry season.

She added that MCWD got additional water supply from the Carmen project, which resulted to an increase of their daily water production to 220,000 cubic meters per day from the previous 202,000 cubic meters per day.

MCWD is also expecting to commission a well in Oprra, Barangay Kalunasan in Cebu City within one month that can produce 1,200 cubic meters of water daily, Kara said.

She said this will be a great help to Kalunasan, especially in the event that the production in the Buhisan Dam will go down to 1,000 to zero cubic meters per day, an experience that MCWD had during El Niño season in 2012.

Kara said that Oprra is among the areas identified by MCWD that are easily affected during dry season.

Despite its assurances, MCWD is asking the public to conserve water such as by recycling water to flush toilets, among many others.

“Conservation of water should be a lifestyle,” she said.
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