Water supply dwindles in Cebu City due to El Niño

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Cebu City (CNN Philippines, March 13) — Water levels of two major dams in Cebu City have dropped due to the El Niño in the country, prompting agencies to ration water supply, according to the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD).

MCWD spokesperson Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara said the Buhisan Dam has dropped water production from 6,000 to only 2,500 cubic meters per day. On the other hand, the Jaclupan dam dropped production from 33,000 cubic meters to only 27,500 cubic meters per day.

City Disaster Risk Reduction Management operations head Wesley Santos said they will recommend a declaration of a "State of Preparedness" as the El Niño effects are looming.

As early as now, MCWD will be rationing water supply to provide all its consumers in the entire service area.

City agriculturist Apple Tribunalo added that 70 percent of the water sources in the mountain barangays of Cebu City have been depleted. The MCWD water supply is composed of mostly ground water, amounting to 69 percent or 74,000 cubic meters out of 238,000 cubic meters per day of water production.

Residents and the farmers are now sourcing their water from villages in low-lying areas where there is still enough water supply. The rivers and the springs have also started to deplete.

This comes after Zamboanga Sibugay and the city of Pagadian in Zamboanga del Sur were placed under a state of calamity Tuesday due to the impact of El Niño on agricultural production.

Last week, the City of Zamboanga was also placed under a state of calamity due to the effects of drought on the irrigation of rice fields.

Weather officials earlier predicted 10 provinces may experience drought and 41 others may experience a dry spell by the end of March. These numbers are expected to rise by the end of April with 22 areas to experience drought, and 42 to have dry spells.

Cebu-based journalist Dale Israel contributed to this report.