Water crisis hits town fed by Banahaw springs
LUCBAN, QUEZON—Taps have gone dry in this town at the foot of Mt. Banahaw, the mountain spanning the provinces of Quezon and Laguna known for its rivers, springs and waterfalls.
Cher Zabate, supervisor of local government-run Apolinario de la Cruz Waterworks Facilities, said water level in the intake tanks of Lucban’s reservoirs had dropped to the critical mark as the lack of heavy and continuous rain in recent weeks had dried up springs in the town.
Zabate said the declining water supply was observed in reservoirs in Sindico, Baraka, Pagsipi and Samil starting August.
“We’re used to falling water levels during this time of the year. But this year is different because [the] lack of rain [is a serious situation, possibly] due to climate change,” Zabate said.
She said even Lucban’s popular canals, where clean water from Mt. Banahaw flows throughout the town, had dried up. Banahaw is also called “Vulcan de Agua” or “water volcano,” due to the abundant water from its springs and rivers.
“This water crisis is unprecedented in Lucban,” said Rommel Babierra, a high school senior, told the Inquirer.
He said residents used to drink straight from the taps, “and suddenly, it’s (water) now gone”.
Lucban Mayor Celso Dator agreed that the water crisis being experienced in his town could be attributed to climate change and erratic weather.
“This time of the year should be rainy season, but there is a serious lack of rain this year,” Dator said.
But the mayor appealed for patience and assured residents that the water crisis would end soon, saying the local government would undertake a massive rehabilitation of the town’s reservoirs and repair of distribution pipes.
The local government has been sending firetrucks to different villages in Lucban to deliver water to households until supply stabilizes.
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