MCWD signs over P21B in deals to procure desalinated water

THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) has entered into contracts for desalinated bulk water supply in Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City in its bid to find new sources of potable water to narrow the gap between supply and demand in its franchise area.

On Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, MCWD signed a 25-year desalinated bulk water supply contract with Pilipinas Water Resources Inc. (PWRI) and 8990 Housing Development Corp. Joint Venture (JV) for the delivery of water at a price of P73.86 per cubic meter, the water district said in a statement.

“The total contract price for the 25 years is more than P20.7 billion,” Minerva Gerodias, MCWD information officer, told SunStar Cebu Thursday.

The joint venture’s desalination project is in Barangay Opao, Mandaue City.

The JV has eight months from receipt of the Notice to Proceed to make its first delivery of water.

It is contracted to deliver 10,000 cubic meters of water daily in the first year, and then 25,000 cubic meters per day for the remaining 24 years of the contract.

“This is one happy beginning of a much-awaited project with our longtime partner, MCWD,” PWRI president Victoria de la Peña said in the statement.

Five years

MCWD also signed on Wednesday a five-year contract with Mactan Rock Industries Inc. for the latter to supply 5,000 cubic meters per day of desalinated water at P73 per cubic meter.

“The total contract price for the five years is P666.8 million,” Gerodias said.

Mactan Rock has six months from receipt of the Notice to Proceed to start delivering on its committed volume from its desalination plant in Lapu-Lapu City.

The injection point will be near the Mactan Economic Zone 1 Gate 3 along M.L. Quezon National Highway. This water supply is intended to address the needs of Lapu-Lapu City, especially in areas going to Barangay Punta Engaño, MCWD said.

“I am happy to help alleviate the shortage of water in Mactan,” said Mactan Rock chief executive officer and chairman Lito Maderazo. “I am hoping to continue serving MCWD and the business community, especially the economic zone.”

MCWD said the two firms clinched their water supply contracts after going through competitive bidding.

Costly but feasible

MCWD addressed concerns about the processing of desalinated seawater costing more than the use of ground water sources, saying that “groundwater sources are already compromised because of contamination, over extraction and saltwater intrusion.”

It called desalination plants “the most feasible source of water as MCWD is serving coastal areas within Metro Cebu.”

It also said that unlike ground water, seawater is abundant and drought resistant.

The water district said it is also looking into buying water from sources outside of Cebu.

MCWD currently produces 260,000 cubic meters of water per day from 138 wells and private suppliers. This meets only about 36 percent of the total water demand of Metro Cebu. It aims to meet 70 percent of the total demand in 10 years.

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