Cebu water firm, distributor sign deal for upland areas hit by dry spell

05/24/2010 - The Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD), Cebu's main water distributor, has signed a second joint venture agreement (JVA) with a private water distributor to address the needs of consumers in upland areas in Cebu City affected by the dry spell.

MCWD officials signed the JVA with representatives of Pilipinas Water Resources Inc. (PWRI) for the latter to supply more than 1,500 cubic meters (cbm) of water to MCWD's Banawa Injection Point, which supplies water to upland barangays in Cebu City.

Last month, MCWD signed a JVA with Abejo Builders to provide more than 2,000 cbm of water a day to Barangay Lahug and some adjacent areas in Cebu City.

Armando Paredes, MCWD's general manager, signed the JVA with representatives of the water district's board of directors and PWRI's William Maceren.

Ernie Delco, MCWD assistant manager for operations, said while the water distribution company is expected to enter into six more JVAs before the year ends, these will not help in alleviating the current water crisis.

Delco said it will still take months before the JVAs become effective, but they will be useful for water consumers as these will help in countering future dry spells during the summer months when water demand is at its peak.

MCWD's overall water production rate is about 161,000 cbm a day, Delco said.

This is down from MCWD's regular 172,000 cbm daily water production.

Meanwhile, Oscar Tabada, chief of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)-Mactan, said there is a possibility that the rains may begin within the first week of June, as the El Nino phenomenon continues to weaken.

A southwest monsoon usually passes by the country by mid-May, but due to the El Nino, this may occur in early June, said Tabada.

According to the National Disaster Coordinating Council's April 29 report on the El Nino impact assessment on agriculture, crop damage was estimated at P12 billion nationwide. (PNA)

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