Dry spell reduces potable water supply in Kidapawan

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 12 March) – The dry spell has reduced by 15-20 percent water production in all spring sources of the Metro Kidapawan Water District (MKWD), general manager Stella Gonzales said.

The dry spell started last quarter of January and would continue until May this year, according to weather reports.

Residents of Makilala, North Cotabato fetch free water from a source opened by the Metro Kidapawan Water District on Friday (1 November 2019) after regular water supply was disrupted following the the magnitude 6.5 quake that hit North Cotabato the day before. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

One spring source from Barangay Buhay in Makilala, Cotabato, used to produce 80-90 liters per second, the MKWD said.

In her Facebook page, Gonzales said Saguing River – one of the longest rivers in North Cotabato which connects Makilala town to Kidapawan City, has decreased its water production capacity by 20 percent, Gonzales said.

It used to generate at least 300 liters per second before the dry spell.

The Saguing River, she explained, supplies at least 70 percent of the water concessionaires in Kidapawan.

To address it, Gonzales said the MKWD will push through with their long-term plans and projects, including the development of groundwater sources.

As early as December, the MKWD conducted its geo-resistivity survey to identify potential groundwater sources.

Earlier, MKWD assistant general manager Sandy Alqueza said the survey is part of their plan to improve the delivery of safe drinking water to their growing number of concessionaires here and in adjacent areas in Cotabato province.

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

Gonzales said these plans are included in the P561-million loan that would come from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) through the Local Water Utilities Administration.

She said they are still working on the requirements needed by the ADB to release the funds.

“Hopefully, everything will be submitted as fast as we can, so that project commencement will take effect,” she said.

Gonzales added that while the city and its nearby towns are experiencing dry spell, she urged the public to conserve water and help the government and their agency in their reforestation efforts in the watersheds where most of their sources are. (Malu Cadeliña-Manar/MindaNews)