Geo-resistivity conducted on potential groundwater sources in quake-hit Cotabato

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/02 December) – Experts from the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) and the Metro Kidapawan Water District (MKWD) completed on Sunday a two-day geo-resistivity survey in areas identified as potential ground water sources.

Engineer Sandy Alqueza, MKWD assistant general manager, said the survey is part of a long-term plan to improve their services in supplying safe drinking water to their growing concessionaires here and adjacent areas in Cotabato province.

Geo-resistivity survey is conducted to determine the characteristics of soil beneath the surface, especially its thickness.

Alqueza said they have applied for a P560-million loan from LWUA for the groundwater development project.

The loan was approved two weeks before the Magnitude 6.3 quake rattled Cotabato and other parts of Mindanao on October 16.

Alqueza explained the geo-resistivity survey aims to identify potential groundwater sources after some MKWD water sources were destroyed by landslides as a result of the series of temblors last October.

One of those affected was Ilian spring located at Sitio Ilian in Barangay Buhay, Makilala town, one of the areas identified as “no build zones” or “high-risk” for landslides following the earthquakes.

Ilian spring used to supply 60 percent of MKWD’s water concessionaires in Makilala, Alqueza said.

Some 100,000 individuals in Makilala were affected by the quakes.

The groundwater exploration was conducted in barangays Luna Sur, Luna Norte, San Vicente and Libertad, all in Makilala.

The MKWD has also identified potential groundwater sources in Matalam town and at least two areas in Kidapawan City.

Alqueza said that aside from the geo-resistivity survey, clearing operations in areas with damaged pipelines are still ongoing.

The water utility needs at least P82.7 million to restore and rehabilitate the pipelines and other facilities damaged by the quakes.

The amount will come from a loan that LWUA approved last week, Alqueza said.

From the amount, P25million was released to facilitate the clearing operations, he added.

As of November 30, the MKWD is supplying safe potable water to at least 53 percent of their concessionaires following the October quakes.

The restoration might be completed early next year, the MKWD said.