Daluz defends desalination projects

MCWD building.
MCWD building.Google Stree View

THE chairman of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) board has defended the district’s shift towards water desalination as a water supply source.

Jose Daluz III said MCWD is “on the right track.”

The MCWD board chairman issued a statement on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, following an anonymous complainant’s filing of a case against him, general manager Edgar Donoso, and board members Miguelito Pato and Jodelyn May Seno before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas last Monday, Feb. 19.

The complainant alleges that the officials entered into “pricey” water supply agreements that won’t immediately solve Cebu’s water crisis, with projects not operational until 2025.

However, the complainant did not specify which projects were involved.

The camp of Melquiades Feliciano, chairman of the board appointed by Mayor Michael Rama, has also ordered a stop to the desalination projects for further review.

In a statement Wednesday, Daluz argued that MCWD is pursuing water desalination projects to produce an abundant supply of potable water at prices significantly lower than the P1,000 per cubic meter charged by water refilling stations.

No longer viable

Daluz explained that relying on groundwater within Metro Cebu is no longer viable due to its deterioration and contamination.

He believes desalination technology is the most reliable option to guarantee safe drinking water for the region and prevent consumers from paying exorbitant prices.

Daluz said MCWD has three water desalination projects set to start supplying water within six months: one in Barangay Mambaling (Cebu City), which is expected to begin operation in March; one in Mandaue City, expected to operate within two months; and one in Cordova town.

The desalination plant in Cordova is a 3.5-hectare facility that uses seawater reverse osmosis technology to produce potable water. The plant is being built by Vivant Hydrocore Holdings Inc. and its technical partner, Israel-based Watermatic Philippines.

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