MCWD water production down 16%

MCWD water production down 16%

THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District’s (MCWD) water production has dropped further, this time by 50,000 cubic meters of water daily, due to the effects of the dry hot season and drought brought by the El Niño phenomenon.

This was revealed by the water utility’s spokesperson Minerva Gerodias on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

This means MCWD’s water production now stands at only about 251,000 cubic meters of water daily, or 16.61 percent less than its 301,000 maximum water output daily under normal circumstances.

A week ago, on April 11, Gerodias had said MCWD was losing at least 46,748 cubic meters of water each day, or 15.53 percent of the utility’s maximum production capacity.

MCWD serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay and Lapu-Lapu, and the towns of Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela and Cordova.

Dried out

Gerodias reported that the majority of their affected water sources are surface water.

She said the production of Buhisan Dam, located in Cebu City, has halved to 3,000 cubic meters from its usual output of 6,000 cubic meters, while the Jaclupan wellfield in Talisay City has also seen a drop from to 14,000 cubic meters, from 30,000 cubic meters daily.

She added that one of their water sources from a river in Compostela town in northern Cebu is not supplying them with water anymore since it has completely dried out.

Additionally, the water production of Lusaran Hydro in Cebu City has also halved to 15,000 cubic meters daily from its previous output of 30,000 cubic meters.

Gerodias said that, so far, only their surface water source in Carmen town, which delivers to them 30,000 cubic meters of water daily, has not been affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

She added that they have ordered an additional 5,000 cubic meters of water from them to supply consumers in the northern part of Cebu that is included in their coverage area.

Three sources

Last March 5, Tommy Gonzalez of the production department of MCWD said they acquire water from three distinct sources.

These are desalinated seawater at 10 percent; groundwater obtained from wells at 50 percent; and surface water at 40 percent, which encompasses both bulk water and sources owned by them.

Gerodias said their groundwater sources have not yet been affected by the drought; however, she said these need replenishment from rains for them not to be depleted.

“Our underground water sources are still okay, not affected that much since it is underground. However, if the situation brought on by El Niño will be prolonged, it still needs replenishment from rainfall,” she said.

Affected residents

Grade 4 student Joshua Dacayana, 10, from Sitio Ughay in Barangay Bonbon, said in a live interview with a local TV station on Thursday that they have to travel kilometers just to fetch water from a well.

He said he rides on his neighbor’s vehicle, as they also fetch water from the same source, since the river in their area has already dried up.

Meanwhile, Edrine Durante, a researcher at a university in Barangay Lahug, said they are experiencing intermittent water supply in her workplace.

She said the water no longer reaches the third floor, where her office is located.

Water trucks

Gerodias said they are still delivering water through water trucks to severely affected barangays.

MCWD identified 12 barangays in three cities as “severely affected” by water supply shortages last April 11.

On Wednesday, Gerodias said the affected are still barangays Umapad, Opao, Alang-alang, Looc and Subangdaku in Mandaue City; Lorega San Miguel, Binaliw, San Jose, Talamban and Pit-os in Cebu City; and Cansojong and San Roque in Talisay City.

Some of the water that MCWD delivers to these areas is injected directly to the pipes for it to be accounted for and billed to consumers, but some is given out directly through queues.

They have not identified additional barangays as severely affected even if SunStar Cebu reported last week that other areas in Cebu not listed as severely affected by MCWD were already experiencing supply shortages—such as Barangay Duljo-Fatima, where a resident said they were experiencing 14-hour water service interruptions daily.

Gerodias said that to augment water supply in some mountain barangays in Cebu City, they have deployed mobile siphon tanks (MST) in Bonbon and Cambinocot, which are not among the identified severely affected areas.

The MST equipment extracts water from rivers, lakes, ponds and other surface sources, transforming it into clean and drinkable water.

She said the project involves collaboration between MCWD and Cebu City Hall, asserting that despite their feud, they are working together for the people.

There is currently a struggle for control over the board of the MCWD, with chairman Jose Daluz III, and directors Miguelito Pato and Jodelyn May Seno refusing to step down from their posts despite their having been fired by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama last Oct. 31, and even after the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) suspended the trio for six months last March 15 and replaced them with an interim board as the regulator sought to look into issues at the water district, including the alleged failure to comply with procurement laws.

The struggle has dragged MCWD general manager Edgar Donoso into the issue, bringing about his own suspension by the LWUA-installed interim board.

Daluz, Pato and Seno, as well as Donoso, do not recognize the authority of the LWUA to suspend them, leading to the competing groups taking turns barring each other from entering the MCWD main office.


Experts from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Cebu is currently under drought with effects to be felt until May.

Drought is characterized by an extended dry spell, either with five consecutive months of below-normal rainfall or three months of significantly reduced rainfall.

Previously, Pagasa defined below-normal rainfall as 20 to 60 percent less than the usual amount, while way-below-normal rainfall indicates a decrease of more than 60 percent from the norm.

Weather specialist Jhomer Eclarino of Pagasa said that on average, Cebu receives 60.9 millimeters of rainfall in March. But this year, it recorded only 9.8 millimeters. (KJF)


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.