THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) plans to put up a desalination plant in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay and in the northern town of Consolacion.
The MCWD targets to start supplying consumers with desalinated water by December 2021.
Information officer Edna Inocando said the MCWD Board of Directors (BOD) already approved the bidding for the facilities except for the ones in the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Talisay. That has been put on hold because of unsolicited proposals.
“MCWD had the announcement for the competitive bidding for bulk water supply using seawater published in the newspapers,” Inocando said in Cebuano.
MCWD BOD chairman Jose Daluz III said their aim is to supply 70,000 cubic meters of desalinated water per day.
Water rates will probably go up, he said, but the increase will be gradual.
“I told the MCWD that let’s deliver the water first and absorb any losses before raising the rates. Eventually, the MCWD will have no choice but to ask consumers to pay more because desalinated water is more expensive to produce. Consumers, though, will also be assured of a sustainable supply,” Daluz said in a mix of Cebuano and English.
He said people are willing to pay for water, citing the results of a study they conducted.
This year, he said the plan is to sign the contract and start the construction of the desalination plants. Next year, pipes will be installed.
“Billions of pesos will be spent on pipes alone to make sure these reach areas that do not have them. By December next year, these should be able to connect to consumers,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.
He said the MCWD will not spend for the construction of the facilities, but it will buy the water produced in bulk.
To cater to the growing number of consumers, the MCWD has drilled 18 wells. The problem of contaminated groundwater and siltation of surface water, though, has forced it to look for other ways like desalination.
The MCWD provides water to consumers in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay and the towns of Compostela, Consolacion, Cordova and Liloan. (JJL)