Bulk water delivery to normalize in 3 days

Oct 3, 2017

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But COWD West Service Area already needs more

 

Here’s good news and bad news for Kagay-anon water consumers.

Kag Bong Lao presides of the SP Utilities Committe Public Consultation as COWD GM Rachel Beja reacts

Kag Bong Lao presides of the SP Utilities Committe Public Consultation as COWD GM Rachel Beja reacts

 

Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. has committed to the Cagayan de Oro Water District it would normalize its delivery of bulk water in the next three days.

However, the COWD says present consumer demand in its West Service Area already exceeds the contracted volume Rio Verde has commited to deliver so there’s a good chance the low pressure to no-water situation facing water consumers could continue indefinitely until repairs to the main water line of Rio Verde are completed.

Kag. Bong Lao presides over the committee hearing

Kag. Bong Lao presides over the committee hearing

 

During the City Council’s Utilities Committee public consultation headed by Kag. Teodulfo Lao Jr. held Tuesday, October 2 at the city session hall, COWD Information Manager Ladele Sagrados said the ongoing water crisis has adversely affected water consumers in their West Service Area.

 

“We have been experiencing water shortage in our West Service Area due to repairs being conducted to the Rio Verde pipeline which has affected several barangays including Lumbia, Cala-anan, Pagatpat, Opol, Bulua, Iponan, Patag, especially in the elevated portions and low pressure in the rest of the West Service Area,” Sagrado said.

Quakes damaged pipeline

 Rio Verde Vice President Joffrey Hapitan said they have been unable to supply the COWD bulk water requirements after Rio Verde’s main submarine transmission line across the Cagayan River was damaged by the series of earthquakes which rocked Mindanao last month.

This scene of residents lining up for water is being reprised in many barangays in COWD's West Service Area after earthquakes damaged Rio Verde's main supply line (Edgar Aniceto, LWUA Public Affairs)

This scene of residents lining up for water is being reprised in many barangays in COWD’s West Service Area after earthquakes damaged Rio Verde’s main supply line (Edgar Aniceto, LWUA Public Affairs)

 

Records show that Mindanao was rocked by a series of earthquakes nine days ago with a 4.4 magnitude temblor first hitting Magpet Soccskargen, followed a few hours later by a magnitude 5.7 quake at Kadingilan, Bukidnon; then another 4.4 magnitude quake in Osias, Soccskargen and Wao, Lanao del Sur.

The earthquakes cracked the concrete casings of the underwater pipeline of Rio Verde resulting in leaks and diminished supply to COWD’s take off point.

Rio Verde Vice President Joffrey Hapitan explains what brought the water crisis now hitting the COWD's West Service Area

Rio Verde Vice President Joffrey Hapitan explains what brought the water crisis now hitting the COWD’s West Service Area

 

“On Sept 26 1PM we decided to shut down water delivery to COWD to isolate the problem and commission the back-up HDPE pipeline to resume deliveries to COWD. Isolation works on the submarine pipeline completed Sept 27 9AM, and we resumed delivery of bulk water to COWD but only 72% of contracted volume of 40,000 cu.m. daily through the HDPE back-up pipeline,” Hapitan said.

“Starting October 1st, flow was increased to 95 percent of contracted volume (38,000 cu.m. daily of the 40,000 cu.m. contracted). In about 3 days from now, we are doing our best to restore the volume to 40,000 cu.m. including the pressure required by COWD,” he added.

Hapitan cited how this is only the second time that Rio Verde has had to curtail deliveries of bulk water to COWD due to force majeure, the first being on December 17, 2011 after its pipeline bridge was swept away by rampaging flood waters brought by Tropical Storm Sendong.

Tropical Storm Sendong destroyed the Rio Verde Pipe Bridge dumping concrete and pipe debris into the Cagayan River in the early hours of December 17, 2011 (Rio Verde photo by AR Avellana)

Tropical Storm Sendong destroyed the Rio Verde Pipe Bridge dumping concrete and pipe debris into the Cagayan River in the early hours of December 17, 2011 (Rio Verde photo by AR Avellana)

 

“The original design for the pipeline was over the river but our pipe bridge was destroyed by Sendong, so what I did was covert that to a submarine pipe. However, perhaps I failed to foresee there would be two magnitude 5 earthquakes in the area, so today I am trying to design an upgraded submarine pipe capable of resisting up to an Magnitude 8 earthquake. We are budgeting P50-M for this rehabilitation work and it has already started and you can visit the area to inspect,” Hapitan said to the committee members present.

“While repairing we are already restoring the full volume with pressure required by COWD using the HPDE back-up line in another 3 days,” he added.

Demand already exceeds contracted supply

While welcoming Rio Verde’s commitment to resume deliveries of its contracted supply of 40,000 cu.m. at the pressure needed by the water district, COWD GM Rachel Beja qualified that  COWD requires both volume and pressure.

“Even if we get the volume required but if there is insufficient pressure at the delivery point we will still have problems delivering that water to our furthest service area,” Beja declared.

COWD GM Rachel Beja stresses a point during Tuesday's SP Utilities Committee public consultation on the water supply situation in COWD's West Service Area

COWD GM Rachel Beja stresses a point during Tuesday’s SP Utilities Committee public consultation on the water supply situation in COWD’s West Service Area

 

“The pipeline directly below the take-off point is a transmission line which goes directly to our reservoir before it is distributed to our concessionaires. Reservoirs in Bulua and Carmen are at high elevation and if we cannot fill up these reservoirs we cannot attain the necessary pressure to push the water up to furthest end and up to the elevated areas.”

“While 40,000 cu.m. is contracted capacity we have issued additional purchase orders to Rio Verde in the last three months of up to 60,000 cu.m. daily because in our current assessment, we need additional volume in our service area. So the 38,000 cu.m. is truly 95% of the contracted volume but not adequate for the our present needs,” she added.

Beja clarified that the present consumer demand in  the West Service area already requires a daily flow rate of 2,500 cu.m. per hour compared to the 1,500 cu.m. stipulated in its bulk water contract with Rio Verde.

The Rio Verde Water Treatment Plant at Baungon, Bukidnon

The Rio Verde Water Treatment Plant at Baungon, Bukidnon

 

Thus, even if Rio Verde already delivered the 40,000 cu.m. daily as stipulated in its present contract with COWD, this would only address 63% of the West Service Area’s present requirements, and not 95% as declared by Hapitan, which was the demand level 10 years ago when Rio Verde started delivering bulk water to COWD.

To address the water shortage in the interim, COWD has employed interim measures to mitigate effects of the water supply curtailment like valve adjustments and facilitating water delivery to affected areas utilizing water tankers from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Filipino-Chinese Volunteer fire brigades to augment COWD and Rio Verde tankers to deliver water directly to consumers since last week.

 

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