Oro water district: No ‘state of calamity’

AN OFFICIAL of the Cagayan de Oro City Water District (COWD) said there is no ‘state of calamity’ in terms of the city’s water supply and that the water disruption happens only intermittently in certain areas.

"I'm not sure if a state of calamity needs to be declared. While meron ngang problem, pero (there is a problem, but) it happens intermittently. Ewan ko lang kung anong pwedeng maging basis sa declaration na ganyan. Intermittent kasi yung disruption sa supply ng Rio Verde. And parang caused by maintenance problem nila (I don't know if that can be a basis of the declaration. The disruption of water supply, which was caused by Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. maintenance problem, is intermittent)," engineer Bienvenido Batar Jr., COWD assistant general manager, said Monday, November 20.

Last Saturday, November 18, City Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr. said he is contemplating sponsoring a resolution declaring a state of calamity in the city's 1st district if the residents' water problem will continue to worsen, although the matter is still under study.

This was brought up after Lao heard that some residents of the 1st District were complaining after the water in the area was cut off due to the repairs of the Rio Verde in their pipe lines.

"Merong repairs na ginawa ang Rio Verde with their lines. Natapos ang repairs in the early part of Saturday and by afternoon of Saturday, bumalik ang supply (Rio Verde was repairing their pipe lines. The repairs finished early Saturday and the water supply was available in the afternoon of the same day)," Batar said.

Batar added that the COWD is working closely with Rio Verde and they are continuously monitoring in case of adjustments and complete recovery of the pipe lines.

Meanwhile, Batar said proposals to source water from deep wells need detailed studies.

During the meeting of the committee on public utilities last Friday, November 17, a potential bulk water supplier told the City Council they can supply treated bulk water to the COWD at half the proposed rate of MetroPac Water Investments Corporation.

Committee chairman Lao said the Cagayan de Oro Water Technologies Development Corporation (CWTDC) told the council that the firm can supply some 150,000 cubic meters of treated bulk water per day.

Lao said the firm’s representative said they will source the water from deep wells to be dug in the villages of Macasandig, Cugman, Agusan, and Balulang among others, aside water from the Cagayan River.

"Although kami mismo naa mi well sa Macasandig ug sa Balulang, naay portion sa Balulang nga dili maayo ang results sa among well. So dili ko ka siguro kung unsay result sa well nga ilang himuon (Although we also have wells in Macasandig and Balulang, there's a portion in Balulang that the results is not good. So I don't know what will be the result of the wells they are planning to make)," Batar said.

Commenting on the firm’s proposed bulk water rate of P8 per cubic meter, Batar said making water from the Cagayan River potable is an expensive process.

"Some of them [water treatment technologies] are very expensive to operate. Ang mga treatment process kinahanglan sa Cagayan River expensive kaayo (The treatment process needed for the Cagayan River is really expensive)," Batar said.

The COWD assistant general manager said having an expensive water treatment process will increase the water rate, but he added that it will solely depend on the plans of the CWTD as direct pumping of water from the river will be expensive but building a well beside it will be cheaper.
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