Will Legazpi City have a water shortage soon?

Will Legazpi City have a water shortage soon?
Photo via Pixabay
LEGAZPI CITY—Thousands of residents in upland villages here are complaining of the inadequate supply of water flowing in their household faucets, an indication that water shortage is slowly creeping the city.

The Legazpi City Water District (LCWD) appears helpless in providing the much-needed water supply and blames the Philippine Hydro Inc., (PhilHydro), the main bulk water provider, for not pursuing measures that would improve and meet the water requirements of thousands of city residents, according to Richard Atun, LCWD spokesman.

PhilHydro, presently operated by Maynilad, entered into a contract in 2008 with the LCWD for bulk supply of potable water to the water distributor.

PhilHydro entered into an agreement with the LCWD to supply bulk water that meets the Philippine National Standards for drinking water to the LCWD for a period of 25 years.

It is supposed to supply 600,000 cubic meters of potable water monthly to the LCWD, which should deliver this clean water to households in this city.

LCWD pays PhilHydro PHP8.1 million this agreed monthly water supply. In an interview, Atun said PhilHydro has to supply the LCWD with 20,000 cubic meters of water a day but the agreement states that in the succeeding years, production would be increased by 1,000 cubic meters a day.

Based on the agreement, it was expected that the firm should have supplied about 27,000 cubic meters of water a day this year.

“The water supply being produced and distributed by Philhydro is below the required volume stipulated in the contract,” Atun said.

The LCWD has officially communicated with PHilhydro, requesting it to undertake measures that would address the looming water shortage.

Philhydro and Maynilad officials here declined to answer issues about their operations, saying they are not authorized to speak for the company operation, Atun said.

He said the LCWD is servicing the water supply requirements of some 21,000 households in the 70 villages in this city.

The water shortage of about 7,000 cubic meters a day has affected some 4,200 household consumers, specially those in the upland villages in the southern part of the city.

Affected were villages Old Albay District, Mauyod, Tula-tula Istanza, Taysan, Maslog, Homapon, Bagacay, Bariis and Banquerohan.

Atun said that as low pressure of water are expected in these areas, the LCWD has initiated a water supply distribution scheme where it supplies to the maximum water during peak hours that is 5 a.m. to 9 a.m, and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. all in a weekdays.

Philhydro is getting its supply of water from wells in the villages of Mabinit, Bunga, Buyuan and Pawa, while other possible water source is being explored in Bagong Abre, Bigaa and Pawa.

In 2011, the city government cancelled PhilHydro's business permit after it failed to comply with the Department Of Health (DOH) requirements needed to operate a water supply facility here.

The DOH findings showed that the water facility firm committed violation in the Sanitation Code of the Philippines.

According to the DOH, the firm failed to secure with the agency an initial permit to develop drinking water supply system and operational permit. (PNA)

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