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Water scarcity due to dry season hits Puerto Princesa

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By Philippine News Agency

The city water district here has reminded its more than 42,000 consumers to conserve water due to scarcity of supply brought about by the dry season.

Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) General Manager Antonio Jesus Romasanta said the dry season has already caused water levels at the Irawan watershed to decline since the beginning of summer.

Romasanta said that out of its 41 water wells to support the supply from Irawan, only 36 are functional.

“We can still manage to supply water, but the dry season this year is different. Imagine, we’ve already experienced 37 degrees of temperature, and that is something. We have to reactivate the remaining water wells that are not operational,” he said.

Romasanta said they are also rushing the bidding of the improvement of the water transmission line in Irawan to resolve the lack of sufficient supply in the future while the PHP720 million Montible and Lapu-Lapu River Water Development Project is awaiting construction at the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm area.

“Our focus right now is the improvement of the transmission line. In the future, when the water development project in Iwahig has been completed, it will add 15,000 cubic meters per day to our existing daily supply of 30,000 cubic meters,” he said.

Romasanta added that they have recently finished the survey of 14 other areas in the city for water wells development, but only five seem to be suitable.

On Monday, the PPWCD issued a public advisory to inform its water subscribers to save water as Puerto Princesa is going through a water crisis.

It said the Irawan Water Shed in Barangay Irawan, which serves as the main source of water supply, is already 30 percent down in production capacity, or 223 cubic meters per hour flow rate.

But Romasanta said the PPCWD could still cope so long as the consumers help in the conservation of water, and would immediately inform them should water no longer flow from their valves.

“It is expected that our water supply will continuously decrease in the coming days with the absence of rainfall occurrences, but this is the time when the demand for water increases while our supply decreases. We just want to remind our public to conserve water, especially these days,” he said.

Per record of the PPCWD, more than 10 barangays are already experiencing water problems. These are Bancao-Bancao, Bagong Sikat, Milagrosa, Tanglaw, Maunlad, Masipag, Bagong Silang, Princesa, Masikap, and other nearby barangays that are located in elevated areas.

“We therefore encourage all our consumers to cooperate in maintaining and regulating its water usage, until such time that we have surpassed this crisis,” he said.

Romasanta said they have already carried out their contingency plan in response to the crisis.

“We started carrying out necessary measures like deploying of our lorry trucks since last week,” he said, adding that all residents of these barangays need to do is to inform them if they have no water supply.

The deployment of lorry trucks and personnel aims to conduct water injection on the affected areas to temporarily supply water, execute a valving plan to regulate water usage, and operate additional pumping stations.

He advised residents to firmly turn off all faucets at home when not in use; do not dispose of water that had been used to wash dishes as they could be re-used to water plants; use a water dipper (tabo) instead of the shower when bathing; and store enough water for unexpected interruptions.

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