‘Odette’ to blame for P116M non-revenue water, says MCWD

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THE effects of Typhoon Odette (Rai) may have been one of the reasons the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) incurred around P116.14 million worth of non-revenue water (NRW) in 2021.

This was what MCWD officials said in answer to the findings made by the Commission on Audit (COA) in its 2021 audit report.

State auditors said in their 2021 report that the MCWD’s NRW had reached 29.04 percent, which is over the acceptable minimum rate of only 20 percent.

“The percentage of NRW to total water production of MCWD was 29.04 percent for CY 2021, which is beyond the maximum acceptable rate of 20 percent, set under the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) Board Resolution 444, Series 2009 as amended,” the COA report stated.

This meant that MCWD lost revenue of around P116.14 million, it added.

In a statement sent to SunStar Cebu Friday, August 26, 2022, MCWD said that one of the factors that contributed to the high percentage of NRW was the damage brought by Typhoon Odette in December 2021.

After the typhoon, MCWD said, it delivered water using trucks to areas that did not have a water supply.

“The consumers were not charged for the water delivered to them, thus increasing the NRW. Several lines were also damaged causing leaks and water wastage,” MCWD added.

The water district also said there were instances where pipelines were damaged by heavy equipment used for drainage projects of different local government units.

The leaks caused by these projects were massive, which would take a longer time for them to repair which means more water would go to waste, said MCWD.

MCWD said the contractors of the projects had already been billed for the damage incurred but the amount had yet to be settled.

COA, in its recommendation, said the MCWD must immediately implement additional preventive measures to reduce the NRW rate to the acceptable maximum level of 20 percent or lower to prevent further revenue losses.

In response, MCWD assured its consumers that it will continue to find solutions to reduce its NRW, which translates to better service.

MCWD said it has taken key measures focused on NRW reduction like active leak detection efforts and round- the-clock leak repair.

“It has also earmarked a considerable amount for its pipeline renewal projects which include replacement of dilapidated lines,” read a portion of the statement.