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MCWD water production drops further

The Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) recorded a water production loss of 68,290 cubic meters on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, signaling a continued decline in its output.

Despite the continuing decline in production, MCWD remains optimistic that the water supply will be sufficient until the rainy season, particularly with the anticipated delivery of desalinated water from Barangay Opao in Mandaue City starting Friday, May 17.

MCWD information officer Minerva Gerodias said on Thursday, May 16, that the water production from the six surface water sources of MCWD was 232,710 cubic meters per day or a 22.7 percent decrease from its usual production of 301,000 cubic meters per day.

In SunStar Cebu’s latest report one week ago, on May 9, MCWD’s water production was still at 236,223 cubic meters per day.

The water district has six surface water sources, including Jaclupan wellfield in Talisay City, Buhisan Dam in Cebu City, Manila Water Philippine Ventures (MWPV) in Carmen, Lusaran Hydro in Busay and Pit-os in Cebu City, and Mactan Rock Industries Inc. (MRII) in Compostela.

Both the Buhisan Dam and MRII, which usually produce 30,000 and 12,500 cubic meters per day, respectively, have dried up in April due to El Niño.

The Jaclupan now produces 6,428 from the normal 30,000 cubic meters per day; MWPV which has a 10-year contract to supply MCWD with 30,000 cubic meters of surface water daily from the Luyang River, now has an output of 34,990; while the two Lusaran facilities only have a combined output of 7,059 cubic meters per day.

Despite the decline in the surface water sources, Gerodias said the underground water sources, or wells, remain “stable.”

Gerodias said the current water production of 232,710 cubic meters cannot be guaranteed to fully reach consumers due to the presence of non-revenue water (NRW).

Non-revenue water (NRW) is the volume of water introduced into the water supply system that is not billed or accounted for due to any or a combination of the following factors: theft, evaporation, faulty metering, inadequate data collection, and leakage.

The 2022 Commission on Audit report flagged MCWD after observing that the NRW of the water district had been increasing from 25.26 percent in 2020 to 32.67 percent in 2022. The LWUA also found out that the NRW of MCWD had reached 36 percent.

Meanwhile, Gerodias said the water district will start to commission its first water desalination from Barangay Opao on May 17.

The desalination plant in Opao is expected to deliver 10,000 cubic meters of water per day.

In previous reports of SunStar Cebu, MCWD had identified 23 barangays in the cities of Cebu, Talisay, and Mandaue that were considered “severely affected,” including barangays San Nicolas, Bulacao, Punta Princesa, Pardo, Mambaling, Tisa, Guadalupe and Labangon in Cebu City and barangays Pooc, Tabunok, and San Isidro in Talisay City.

The first 12 severely affected barangays identified last April 10 were 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. / JJL

SunStar Publishing Inc.