After rotational blackouts, it’s now water rationing in Zambo

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 4 March) – After the eight- to nine-hour rotational blackouts, residents of this city will also have to endure water rationing because of the prolonged drought.

Engr. Arnulfo Alfonso, head of the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) Technical Services Group, said the water rationing will be implemented by areas and will take effect on Thursday, March 6.

He said Tuesday the water rationing will remain in effect until such time that water level at the Tumaga River will normalize.

“The water supply is low and there are even parts of the river that are dry,” Alfonso said.

The Tumaga River is the city’s main source of potable water. The ZCWD has built a diversion dam that serves as water catchment leading to its treatment plant in Barangay Pasonanca.

Alfonso’s announcement came four days after the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) has started implementing eight- to nine-hour rotational blackouts due to shortage of power supply from the Mindanao Grid.

ZCWD information officer Dolores Galvan said in a phone interview Tuesday that the level at the water firm’s diversion dam is below normal. She noted that as of Tuesday, water level is at 74.10 meters when normal level is 74.20 meters.

Alfonso said they have divided the ZCWD service areas into three – east coast, west coast and central.

The east coast area comprises barangays Tumaga, Guiwan, Tetuan, Tugbungan, Talon-Talon, Mampang, Sta. Barbara, Rio Hondo, Sta. Catalina, Kasanyangan, Lunzuran, Luyahan, and the Veterans Avenue area.

The west coast area covers barangays Cabatangan, San Roque, San Jose Gusu, Campo Islam, Calarian, Malagutay, Sinunuc, and Napolcom to Carmen Valley area.

In the central area are barangays Pasonanca, Sta. Maria, Canelar, Baliwasan, San Jose-Cawa-Cawa, Sto. Niño, Camino Nuevo, Zone I, Zone II, Zone III, and Zone IV.

Alfonso said that they will initially implement water rationing in the east and west coast areas. The east coast area will have water supply from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. and the west coast, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Alfonso said the central area will continue to enjoy water supply for 24 hours but will experience low water pressure.

“We hope that the situation will not worsen so that we will not have to include all the areas in the water rationing,” he added.