Saturday, February 03, 2007

Oro gets bulk water supply

CAGAYAN DE ORO JOURNAL (Ben Balce / Feb 3) - The Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) yesterday disclosed that over 50% of the city’s households now have enough water after the firm opened its bulk water supply recently.

COWD general manager Engr. Gaspar Gonzales, Jr., said households, mostly at the western part of the city, are supplied with water all day long.

The bulk water supply project is expected to improve the total service connections of COWD from the current level of 53% to roughly 88% of the city’s households in 2015 according to Gonzales.

Bulk Water Project

“Before water consumers were complai-ning of not enough water, but since we opened the bulk water early this year no complain of having no water have been received,” said Gonzales, but added that some old water pipes were damaged by the new high water pressure.

The bulk water supplies Upper Lumbia, including Subdivisions PN Roa, Xavier Heights, Xavier Estates, Camella down to Barangays Carmen, Patag, Bulua, end Iponan.

“Bulk water augmented the supply of potable water in the whole city’s west part, where a water crisis is looming due to the growing number of consumers,” Gonzales said.

He also said that the bulk water project would prevent the draining and destruction of Cagayan de Oro City’s aquifer due to the continuous pumping of deep wells.

“The bulk water project is safe as it will not affect the “water-bearing rock” (aquifer) or a layer of permeable rock, sand, or gravel through which groundwater flows, containing enough water to supply wells and springs,” said Gonzales.

The LWUA, Gonzales said, “is encouraging the tapping of surface water considering the deteriorating state of aquifers especially in the fast-growing and industrializing urban areas in the country.”

He also said LWUA urged the private sector to invest in the development of bulk water sources utilizing rivers or lakes to provide sustainable potable water supply to the domestic and commercial/industrial concessionaires.

“This bulk water generates more jobs to Cagayanons by serving the remaining untapped households, commercial establishments, and institutions within the service area of COWD, we are also supporting the national government’s efforts to alleviate poverty through the provision of adequate and potable water supply,” Gonzales said.

The Rio Verde Water Consortium, Inc. has a 25-year contract to undertake the bulk water supply.

COWD director vice chairman Joel Baldelovar said under the contract, the said firm would build, operate and own infrastructure facilities that will produce Philippine-grade potable water via the abstraction and treatment of water from the river (Bubunawan River).

Baldelovar said the company (Rio Verde) has committed to produce at least 50,000 cubic meter (m3) per day by the end of the year, and double and triple that capacity by the end of 2010 and 2015, respectively.

“So far, the bulk water produced 40,000 cubic meter per day,the COWD pay them at P10.45 per cubic meter,” said Baldelovar adding that enough much to supply even elevated areas like subdivisions Terry Hills, Soldiers hills in Patag.

Baldelovar said the Rio Verde already done the first phase of the COWD’s bulk water supply project which is the first bulk water in the Philippines.
He said a bulk water supply project amounting to P1 billion would also be implemented soon in the other parts of the city.


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