Rainy season starts, but water supply not seen to improve yet

STATE weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) announced Friday, June 12, 2020, the start of the rainy season.

This does not guarantee, however, that water supply will immediately improve, Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) information officer Edna Inocando said.

Water supply from MCWD’s major sources has declined. As of June 8, Jaclupan dam’s output has been halved to 17,000 cubic meters per day from 33,000 cmd.

Production at Buhisan dam and supply from Cebu Manila Water Development have also decreased to 3,800 cmd and 33,000 cmd, respectively. These two water sources normally provide 5,000 cmd and 35,000 cmd, respectively.

Inocando said it would help if the rain occurs over the mountains so rainwater would flow along the Mananga River towards the Jaclupan dam.

“It depends. If the heavy rains will fall on our mountains leading to the Mananga River, waters will enter the Jaclupan facility,” said Inocando.

Al Quiblat, Pagasa-Mactan chief, said Tropical Depression Butchoy and the southwest monsoon or “habagat” brought a significant amount of rains over the western sections of Luzon and Visayas in the last five days.

“Yes start na ting-ulan. Criteria satisfied: for five-day period (of) rain, more than 25 millimeter amount of rainfall (has been) experienced in type 1 climate areas in the Philippines,” Quiblat said. Type 1 areas are those situated in the western part of the country.

As of 3 p.m. Friday, TD Butchoy has continued to bring rains and thunderstorms over parts of Luzon and the Visayas. It was spotted in the vicinity of Pangasinan and was moving west northwest.

Quiblat said, however, that the rainy days may be followed by dry periods with high heat index, or monsoon breaks, which could last for up to two weeks.

Inocando said such dry periods would reduce production at the Jaclupan and Buhisan dams.

“If long period gani ang dry season, tendency mu-lower ground ang tubod, even mo dry up,” she said.

The dry periods will also reduce production of MCWD’s wells, she added.

The water district has been augmenting its supply with bulk water from Mactan Rock Industries. (WBS, JJL)