Briones: MCWD’s herculean task

I believe concerned stakeholders were already discussing the looming water shortage in Metro Cebu as far back as the 1980s, or maybe even longer.

No doubt the tri-cities and its neighboring city and towns are at a disadvantage geographically because they cannot rely on a major river to draw their supply from year around.

As we all know, during the dry season, especially at the height of summer, many, if not all, of our waterways “disappear” or are reduced to trickles.

The Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) is and has been aware of this situation since day one.

The fact that many metro residents continue to use water with wanton abandon as if the supply is infinite only means that the MCWD has been trying to meet consumer demand.

Mind you, I am not saying its service has been perfect. Far from it, in fact. But I think the water district is doing its best to address the problem given the reality that it has to deal with.

Why do I say this?

Here’s a list of what the MCWD has been up to, based on the information I received:

• It has already commissioned the Lusaran Bulk Water Supply project, which adds 15,000 cubic meters of water per day to the water district.

• MCWD holds a contract with Pilipinas Water Resources Inc. (PWRI) to procure 25,000 cubic meters of desalinated seawater per day from its plant in Mambaling, Cebu City. That is expected to deliver an initial volume of 10,000 cubic meters of water per day in November.

• It signed another contract with PWRI and Mactan Rock Industries Inc. to procure 25,000 and 5,000 cubic meters of water per day, respectively.

• PWRI is expected to deliver an initial supply of 10,000 cubic meters per day early in 2024 from its plant in Opao, Mandaue City, while Mactan Rock has already delivered 2,000 cubic meters per day in Lapu-Lapu City and will deliver its full volume in July of this year.

• Additional water volume is also anticipated from desalination plants in Marigondon and Canjulao in Lapu-Lapu City, as well as in Cordova.

• The Marigondon project is expected to deliver 30,000 cubic meters of desalinated seawater daily to the water district while the Cordova project is projected to supply a minimum of 20,000 cubic meters of desalinated seawater daily.

• The Cordova project is slated for completion next year, while the procurement process for the Marigondon project is currently underway, and the contractor will be granted 30 months to finish the project once the contract is signed.

• The Canjulao plant is expected to deliver 25,000 cubic meters of water daily within 24 months from the signing of the contract, while the Maribago project is expected to provide 2,000 cubic meters of water within six months from the signing of the contract.

• MCWD has also completed the bidding process for a bulk water supply project in Basak, Lapu-Lapu City, which can deliver up to 15,000 cubic meters of water per day.

• The water district has concluded the bidding process to supply and deliver bulk water from Jaclupan, Talisay City, with an average capacity of 15,000 cubic meters of water per day.

• MCWD has allocated over P158 million this year to rehabilitate pipelines and more than P149 million for transmission and distribution line projects to be implemented throughout its franchise area.

• Recently, MCWD signed a contract with a contractor to implement a P100-million transmission and distribution pipeline project along Agus to Mactan Circumferential Road in Lapu-Lapu City in preparation for the additional supply from the desalination bulk water supply projects.