Briones: Cebu’s looming water disaster

Publio J. Briones III
Publio J. Briones III

I think I’ve said my piece about the brouhaha surrounding the implementation of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project. I just call it how I see it.

At the end of the day, the decision rests on the National Government, particularly the Department of Transportation.

In other words, “Imperial Manila” will decide the fate of thousands of Cebuanos who are affected by the ongoing project.

Anyway, there is always next year’s elections to judge those who contributed to the suffering of residents.

So time to move on.

This whole mess has had me wishing for the days when news revolved around the leadership battle at the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD).


Well, in the next few days, or weeks, I’m pretty sure the water district will be back in the limelight. Already, some parts of the metro are suffering from water interruptions. And it’s not its fault, mind you.

The much-feared effects of the El Niño that the weather bureau Pagasa has been warning us about are upon us. Or maybe it’s just hot. Because it is summer, after all.

Either way, we have to brace ourselves with the reality that the worst is yet to come.

Because if the current weather continues, how long do you think it will be before the MCWD is unable to cope with the demand?

What then?

Will some establishments continue to water their expansive lawns? Will households continue to water their yards? Will owners continue to wash their cars?

I think the government may have to intervene and implement measures that will ensure there is enough supply to address basic needs. It may have to resort to penalizing the wanton wastage of this life giving resource.

As for the public, it has to man up, do its part and take responsibility for its actions.

If you have any leaks in your house, have it fixed. Try to minimize doing laundry. It’s almost sinful the buckets of water wasted on a piece of clothing. If you’re fond of taking leisurely baths or showers, do away with it for now. I don’t think you will wither and die if you skip the practice for a day or two. There must be other ways to maintain good body hygiene that don’t involve the use of water. I think lots of alcohol, cologne or perfume might do the trick. Or you can always drench yourself in roll-on. If you’re really worried about how you smell to others, then you can just stay at home. It’s up to you.

The main thing is to conserve water.

It’s not exactly a mind-blowing revelation that a water crisis affects everyone, and I mean everyone. Trust me, the problem won’t care if you’re a private individual or a government official. Although not everyone will be in the same boat.

A very few will weather the crisis in yachts, while the rest of the hoi polloi will have to do with a dinghy. And that’s about almost everyone.

Anyway, the current Cebu City administration should stop obsessing about combatting floods. Yes, it’s a major concern, but not just now. Instead, it should prioritize preparations for times like these. And judging by the climate trend worldwide, this might become the new normal; torrential currents during the rainy season, and parched wells during the dry. Which we are in right now.

Of course, we can only predict the weather. With my luck, there might be a deluge within the next few days. I mean, how many times have I written about how hot it is only for it to rain the very next day?

So if the heavens above want me to look like a fool yet again, then I don’t mind being one for as long as we get a respite from this God-forsaken heat.

Okay. That might have been a tad melodramatic but I can’t help it. We haven’t had our garbage in Sambag 1 collected in more than two weeks.

Talk about a segue.


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