Wa­ter sup­ply to nor­mal­ize Fri­day

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page - By PJ Orias

A top ex­ec­u­tive of the Rio Verde Wa­ter Con­sor­tium Inc. (RVWCI) an­nounced yes­ter­day that wa­ter sup­ply will re­turn to nor­mal for res­i­dents of the city's western part this Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 6.

Engr. Jof­frey Hap­i­tan, RVWCI vice pres­i­dent, said wa­ter flow has al­ready in­creased to 95 per­cent since last Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 1.

Hap­i­tan, ap­pear­ing be­fore a City Coun­cil com­mit­tee hear­ing presided by City Coun­cilor Teodolfu ‘Bong' Lao Jr., blamed the Au­gust 5 and Septem­ber 24 earth­quakes which he said caused dam­ages to wa­ter pipes in Ca­gayan River, source of bulk wa­ter sup­ply for the western parts of the city.

“Fol­low­ing the Au­gust 5 and Septem­ber 24 earth­quakes, our un­der­wa­ter pipe­lines cross­ing Ca­gayan river started to crack. On Septem­ber 25, lines are al­ready leak­ing, and on the fol­low­ing day, we stopped the de­liv­ery of wa­ter to iso­late and re­pair the leak­ing por­tion,” Hap­i­tan said.

He said on Septem­ber 27, the de­liv­ery of wa­ter sup­ply re­sumed but added they were only able to sup­ply 72 per­cent of their con­tract obli­ga­tion to the Ca­gayan de Oro Wa­ter Dis­trict (COWD).

In Oc­to­ber 1, he said the flow of wa­ter was al­most back to nor­mal, as they are al­ready sup­ply­ing 38,000 cu­bic me­ter per day out of the 40,000 cu­bic me­ter per day re­quire­ment.

Hap­i­tan said although the re­pair of

the wa­ter pipes is still un­fin­ished, they will be us­ing an emer­gency wa­ter pipe­line this Fri­day to nor­mal­ize the wa­ter sup­ply.

“We will do our very best to re­sume and re­store 100% wa­ter sup­ply in the house­holds af­fected by the wa­ter cri­sis,” Hap­i­tan said.

Engr. Rachel Beja, COWD gen­eral man­ager, mean­while ex­plained that although vol­ume of the wa­ter has in­creased, many house­holds still have low wa­ter sup­ply to no wa­ter at all com­ing out of their faucets be­cause of the low wa­ter pres­sure.

Beja said the vol­ume and pres­sure of the wa­ter should go to­gether to achieve a nor­mal sup­ply.

“There should be enough pres­sure at de­liv­ery point so that wa­ter sup­ply would reach even to the far­thest and most el­e­vated ar­eas in the city. It is im­pos­si­ble na vol­ume lang ang ga-in­crease, but the pres­sure re­mains low,” she said.

Hap­i­tan how­ever vowed that enough wa­ter pres­sure along with in­creased vol­ume of wa­ter sup­ply would be back on Fri­day.

Hap­i­tan also dis­closed the on­go­ing re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Rio Verde pipe­lines.

He said they have al­lot­ted P50 mil­lion to up­grade the pipe­line sys­tem of the wa­ter con­sor­tium.

“The orig­i­nal de­sign of the pipe­lines is over the rivers gyud, but when ty­phoon Sen­dong hap­pened, it was also da­m­aged, so in­stead, what we did was make sub­ma­rine pipes. But what we did not fore­see is the dan­ger of our sub­ma­rine pipe­lines in earth­quakes, just like what is hap­pen­ing now,” he said.

“We will in­stall sub­ma­rine pipes that can with­stand earth­quakes,” Hap­i­tan said.

He said they will in­stall ‘re­dun­dant pipe­lines’ which will be used in emer­gency cases, such as leak­ing pipe­lines.

Mean­while, Beja said they are con­sid­er­ing open­ing the city to other wa­ter con­ces­sion­aires so as to sup­ply enough wa­ter to the in­creas­ing num­ber of city res­i­dents.

“We will look into that,” Beja said, when asked by Coun­cilor Lao if the move is pos­si­ble.

Beja dis­closed that from the 40,000 cu­bic me­ter per day wa­ter re­quire­ment of the city, the de­mand has now in­creased to 60,000 cu­bic me­ter per day.

She said they have a stand­ing ad­di­tional 20,000 cu­bic me­ter pur­chase or­der to Rio Verde to aug­ment sup­ply to the ex­ist­ing wa­ter scarcity felt in the city.

How­ever, Beja said she is con­fi­dent that this will be ad­dressed fol­low­ing the joint ven­ture agree­ment of the COWD and MetroPac Wa­ter In­vest­ments Cor­po­ra­tion, where MetroPac is ex­pected to sup­ply of up to 100 mil­lion liter per day of treated bulk wa­ter, as well as con­struc­tion of trans­mis­sion lines and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the Ca­ma­man-an Reser­voir to sup­ply the COWD, which cur­rently has about 90,000 ser­vice con­nec­tions.

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