Metro Iloilo’s water supply ‘in the red’

Low water levels in the Jalaur River and other sources of Metro Pacific Iloilo Water have further affected its supply amid the dry spell.

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

Metro Pacific Iloilo Water (MPIW), the water distribution utility serving Iloilo City and neighboring areas, reported on Thursday, May 2, a significant decrease in water supply, leading to reduced service in two towns.

As of 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, the water level at the Maasin Dam, a primary water source, had fallen to 93.66 meters above sea level (MASL).

This level is not only below the normal operating level of 94.85 MASL but alarmingly close to the critical mark of 93.60 MASL.

MPIW’s latest advisory also highlighted a reduction in the total bulk water supply to 57.142 million liters per day (MLD), which is 13 MLD below the usual supply rate and 7 MLD under the critical level of 65 MLD.

The utility attributes the falling water levels to the El Niño phenomenon, which has affected the Aganan, Jalaur, and Tigum rivers as well as the Maasin Weir—key sources of Iloilo’s domestic water supply.

These conditions have restricted bulk water suppliers to an average delivery of only 60 MLD.

Further strain on resources was evident in an additional advisory released on Thursday, announcing that the towns of Maasin and Cabatuan would face reduced water pressure to complete outages indefinitely.

The situation was exacerbated by a shutdown at one of the treatment plants from 10:00 p.m. on Thursday to 4:00 a.m. on Friday, May 3, to allow the system to recover and build up water reserves.

However, the villages of Pungtod, Tabucan, Tiring, and Talanghuan in Cabatuan will not be affected by this shutdown.

To manage the reduced supply, MPIW has been enforcing a water rotation schedule within Iloilo City and the towns of Pavia and Santa Barbara since April 30.

With a consumer base of more than 47,000 customers, MPIW has been providing water since July 2019 to Iloilo City and the towns of Cabatuan, Leganes, Maasin, Oton, Pavia, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara in Iloilo province.

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