Cotabato water district braces for drought, starts mitigating measures


COTABATO CITY:  Officials of the Metro Cotabato Water District (MCWD) on Thursday urged water concessionaires to start conserving water the soonest and design their own mitigating measures as the city and Mindanao brace for El Nino phenomenon.

Alma Rodriguez, MCWD general manager, said the foreseen dry spell could result to 5 to 10 percent reduction in water production from the MCWD water sources.

To address that and cushion the impact of El Nino phenomenon seen as worse than the 1998 drought, the MCWD has designed mitigating measures, including water rationing in its franchise area.

The state weather bureau, in its website, has reported this year’s weather phenomenon that started early this year could be among the strongest since 1998.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has alerted the public to prepare for the effects of a six-month dry spell that is forecast to affect 32 provinces, nine of which are in Mindanao.

“Water rationing is an option so all concessionaires could be served,” Rodriguez said, adding that MCWD is mulling additional sources of water.

She said MCWD is eyeing Simuay River in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao as another source of water for the fast increasing number of water concessionaires.

MCWD is serving Cotabato City, part of Sultan Kudarat an part of Datu Odin Sinsuat in Maguindanao.

Rodriguez said water conservation is not the sole responsibility of MCWD but all concessionaires, including simple water saving activities at home.

She urged the public to start conserving water now and keep rain water for dish, car and clothes washing as well as for car washing.

PAGASA said among the areas to be severely affected are North and South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Basilan, Maguindanao and Sulu. The others are three provinces in Zamboanga peninsula.

PAGASA said the drought is expected to level up to “moderate” by September and to peak in November and December then gradually slow down in early 2016. 



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