Quirino town water source dries up
CABARROGUIS, Quirino — No water has been flowing from faucets in households and business establishments here for the past three months after this capital town’s water source had dried up.
But Joel Narciso, manager of the Cabarroguis Water District (CWD), said residents are used to the suspension of services of the water utility firm because the spring from which they get their water dries up yearly.
“This has been our recurring problem during drought months, including these past months when we have been experiencing erratic weather,” Narciso said, referring to the problem faced by 200 consumers here yearly.
“Lagi na yan, taun-taon. Three to four months hindi kami nag-o-operate dahil walang tubig mula sa water source (It has been the same problem every year. We stop operations for three to four months because there is no water from our source),” he said.
With their taps running dry in July, residents have resorted to getting water from wells and springs. Those who can afford it had installed water pumps. Many buy their supply from refilling stations in the town’s business district.
Narciso said members of the CWD’s board of directors had been planning to develop another water source in Barangay Del Pilar as alternative to its lone source in Barangay Santo Domingo. The plan, however, has yet to take off because of shortage of funds.
He said the water district had been waiting for the release of additional funds from the Local Water Utilities Administration to finance the project.
Narciso said the CWD was facing another problem as many residents here, who consume an average of 10 cubic meters at P200 minimum monthly charge, had stopped paying their bills due to the suspension of the water district’s operations.
“[As a result], we have been forced to stop payment of our past electric power bills,” he said.
Narciso said they cannot blame their consumers because the recent typhoons that battered the province had left many residents without money after their farms and property were damaged.
Typhoons “Pedring” and “Quiel,” which hit Quirino in the last week of September and early October, destroyed rice, corn and banana planted in more than 7,800 hectares of farmlands, records from the provincial agriculture office showed.
Narciso said the CWD developed its water source in Barangay Santo Domingo after its original source in Barangay Gundaway dried up 10 years ago.
“The source of water [in Gundaway], a creek, started drying up at the foothills of the mountains and people eventually stopped using the supply as dirty water started seeping into the CWD’s water tank,” said Carlos Igadna, a sari-sari store owner in Gundaway.
Some residents also brought their farm animals to the creek, causing the water to become dirty.
“As you can also see, the past typhoons also felled trees in the watershed. This probably contributed to the drying up of water sources in the town,” Igadna said.
Narciso said the town had learned to cope with the situation during the water district’s 15-year operation. “If we continue to operate with a [low volume of water in our] water source, we would double, if not triple, our expenses” he said.
He said the CWD board members had yet to discuss when to resume the water district’s operations because water level at the town’s water source had yet to normalize.
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