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No water rate hike seen with Carmen purchase

/ 07:35 AM March 23, 2012

Water rates won’t go up for customers of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) even if the utilty purchases water from the future Carmen bulk water project, an official said yesterday.

Engr. Ernie T. Delco, MCWD assistant general manager for operations, said the water district is set to buy 30,000 cubic meters from Carmen’s bulk water supply two years from now.

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“We will negotiate for lower prices,” Delco told Cebu Daily News.

Delco said Carmen town first offered P13 per cubic meter price for their water, which is also the utility’s buying rate from other sources.

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But if MCWD can buy the water at a lower price, Delco said they won’t lower their water rates.

He said Carmen’s water supply is only a small portion of MCWD’s total production for Metro Cebu.

“Theirs is just a small percentage of the whole operation,” Delco said.

He said MCWD’s total production is 200,000 cubic meters daily and the 30,000 cubic meters from Carmen is just a small part.

“If there will be changes in the water rates, it would not be because of that (Carmen),” Delco said.

He said no agreements have been signed yet but MCWD started “preliminary talks” with the parties.

The Province of Cebu and Manila Water Consortium signed a joint investment agreement on Wednesday to develop water resources in Carmen town, tapping the Luyang River.

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The first-of-a-kind project for Cebu involves setting up a new joint venture company to run the water system with the Consortium controlling 51 percent.

Delco said MCWD will allocate around P30 million for the meter reading and installation of pipelines from Carmen town.

The additional water supply will benefit 30,000 households in Metro Cebu.

Meanwhile, Architect Socorro Atega of the Cebu Uniting for Sustainable Water (CUSW) said the Carmen municipal government should have programs to protect Carmen’s watershed.

Atega said the forest cover in the area is not a protected zone and thus in danger of exploitation like illegal logging.

She said CUSW is willing to craft an an integrated water masterplan along with the LGU and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“ The protection and conservation of these watershed should be prioritized,” Atega said.

About 94 percent of MCWD’s water source is from ground water.

Overextraction has led to the seepage of saltwater into the aquifer.

The Luyang river can yield 35 million liters per day based on a study by water resource experts of the University of San Carlos.

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TAGS: MCWD, Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD)
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