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Water district eyes seawater for Cebu

AN ABUNDANT and reliable supply of pure seawater is eyed as the future source of water for Metro Cebu, according to Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD).

MCWD Community Affairs Manager Charmaine Kara believes that the Cebu City government could help solve the water shortage through its political, social and environmental efforts. Kara admitted that the MCWD could not address the high demand for water.

With the water problem, Kara appealed to the city council to create a law that would allow private companies operating desalination plants and those companies supplying the MCWD to buy power from the cheapest suppliers so the price of water will not be so high for the consumers.

The city should also promote rainwater harvesting and offer incentives or tax rebates to companies that use green technologies in order to protect the environment. MCWD is also asking the city to help in making the public understand that water is no longer cheap and that they need to recycle its usage because water conservation is a way of life for Cebu City.

MCWD plans to bid out the 100,000 cubic meters per day bulk supply for desalinated water to secure the water demand in Mactan island by 2022. These are surface water sources—which are the Mananga and Lusaran Dams—and pure seawater desalination in the next few years.

These are in addition to short and medium-term solutions that include groundwater wells, catchment facilities and bulk water supply projects that are already in the pipeline.

Liga ng mga Barangay President Franklyn Ong recommended that MCWD launch a massive advocacy campaign to inform the public about the nitrate contamination of water sources and to educate water users about the need to ensure that their septic tanks do not contaminate the aquifer. Councilor Margot Osmena also said that MCWD should emphasize that its water is potable since this is very good for Cebuanos. “It save money and saves the environment,” she added.

Singson assured the city council that additional reservoirs are among MCWD’s immediate projects. (Farlash Acenas, Margie Bulado and Tito Basilisco/PIO)


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