Low water supply hits Surigao City

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/23 May) – In addition to the power outages that have hit the city, residents are in for another problem caused by the dry season: scarce water supply.

Engr. Benjamin R. Ensomo Jr., general manager of Surigao Metropolitan Water District on Wednesday said Parang-Parang Watershed, the city’s main source of potable water, can only produce 50 percent of its usual yield.

He said Parang-Parang, which is in Barangay Mat-i, and at least 15 kilometer from the city proper, currently produces 14,000 cubic meters per day, or half its normal yield of 28,000 cubic meters.

He said Surigao City needs at least 18,000 cubic meters per day.

The shortage has affected users located in elevated areas such as Capitol Road, Ceniza Heights, Sitio Pag-asa, Silay Hills all in Barangay Washington; Payawan 2, Bernadette Villages in Barangay Luna; Espina Village, Talipapa in Barangay Taft and other far-flung barangays.

Ensomo, however, said users should worry over the low supply as the SMWD is getting water from neighboring Sison and San Francisco towns.

He said they are getting a total of at least 4,000 cubic meters from Tamoyo Creek in San Francisco and creeks in Ima and Cabanes in Sison town.

“I tell you, had we not been able to utilize these new sources today the crisis we have experienced last year and previous years would be much worse today,” he said.

Ensomo said they can augment the water supply by using their two deep wells in Barangay Serna which have a combined yield of 40 liters per second.

Some residents have started to complain they could not get water at times when they need it.

James Plaza of Payawan 1 in Barangay Luna said that since end-April he had experienced a cut in water supply from 8-11 a.m.

“It’s a double whammy on our part because of power crisis and now the water crisis. We experienced this every dry season,” he said.

Ensomo said they are trying to find new sources in neighboring towns.

He advised residents to stock up water especially at night in their buckets or drums.

He also asked them to check their pipelines [for possible leaks] so that they could help conserve potable water. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)