The Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) has assured the public that no water supply shortage will be experienced this summer and it is no longer eyeing another cloud seeding operation to augment the supply from Campo Uno in Barangay Irawan.
The water district will instead focus on the production of supply from Montible and Lapu-Lapu rivers.
General manager Walter Laurel also said they are confident that the volume of water that the Montible and Lapu-Lapu rivers can provide will be enough.
“We can assure the community na walang shortage ngayong summer na ito. At kapag walang shortage, wala rin rationing,” Laurel said.
Laurel also stated that expenses on the second cloud seeding operation were not completely compensated with the produced rains intended for the main water source in Campo Uno.
“Baka hindi na, ‘yong cloud seeding last year ay gastos lang. Iyong ulan, hindi tumatama sa watershed. Although they say na it was successful pero kapag tiningnan mo ‘yong tubig na bumagsak sa Campo Uno at area ng ibang watershed, hindi niya na-compensate ang gastos. We are not planning to engage ‘yong cloud seeding activities ngayon. Nandiyan naman ‘yong Montible, maraming tubig iyon,” he explained.
In previous reports, information officer Jenn Rausa told Palawan News that PPCWD also attempted to conduct a cloud seeding in 2013 but did not push through with the plan since it already rained a week after they were supposed to conduct the operation.
In 2019, they reconsidered the idea and conducted the operation to augment water supply for the demand during summer.
Before 2019 operation, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) already pointed out that cloud seeding will undoubtedly work, but has a rare chance of falling to the target area in Campo Uno.
Around P2 million budget was allocated in 2019 cloud seeding operation with 75 percent success rate, which was higher than the national average of 65 percent, according to PPCWD.
In 2020, the same amount was also allocated for the operation. PPCWD also began to tap its temporary source in Montible and Lapu-Lapu rivers, which are sources for the ongoing Water Supply Improvement Project Phase II (WSIP II).
Laurel said that the provided figure to them was 90 percent success rate but the volume of water that flowed down in watershed did not equate to the expenses.
“Iyong nauna ay sobrang ganda kasi napaulan talaga niya, ‘yong pangalawa [ay] hindi umulan. Buti na lang naka-tap kami sa Montible, na-shorten ‘yong ating rationing. Iyong na-tap namin ‘yong temporary facility sa Lapu-lapu at Montible, April 16, kasagsagan ng summer so nawala ‘yong problema, nagkatubig halos lahat,” Laurel said.
“They say it’s 90 percent (success rate) pero if you are going to compute ‘yong volume of water na nahulog sa watershed, wala. Napaulan pero sa ibang lugar. So i-set aside muna namin ang cloud seeding activities kasi mas maganda mag-focus sa dalawang ilog. Malakas ang tubig,” he narrated.
He also said that previous experiences made them prepare spare pumps in 2020 for this year to assure that pump breakdown will not be an issue in their operation.
“Learning from that experience, alam na namin na this summer na hindi na mangyayari ‘yon. Naghanda na kami ng spare pumps, just in case magka-breakdown, meron pamalit agad. Nagawa na namin last year pa, dumating na ‘yong spare pumps so hindi kami pwede magrason na nasira ‘yong pump kasi, ahead of time, dapat i-expect na masisira ‘yan so meron na kaming spare,” he said.
Meanwhile, Laurel also said PPCWD is working with the city government to push through with the sanitation of waste water to avoid dirty waters flowing directly to the source of supply.
“We are working hard na makapag-provide ng patubig and the other thing that we are also working with the city government is para doon sa sanitation. Kasi ‘yong tubig na binibenta namin, kapag nagamit na ng tao marumi na. Tinatapon lang sa dagat, sa mga receiving bodies of water,” he said.
“Ang city [government] ngayon ay merong mga program para doon. Kami, tumutulong para pati waste water ay ma-taken care pa rin. [Ang water] sanitation, parte rin ng aming mandate, kami nag-provide ng tubig, dapat kapag itatapon na, kami rin ang mag-a-assure na dapat hindi ‘yan maka-contaminate sa bodies of water,” he said.
Laurel said that they are having negotiation with the city government together with PPCWD’s statutory legal counsel, Office of the Government Corporate Council (OGCC).
“Hanggang household kasama ‘yon, katulad nong mga septic tanks na matagal nang puno. Kapag puno na ‘yong septic tanks mo, hindi na nakakapag-treat ‘yon. Iyong overflow non sa mga kanal ay diretso rin sa dagat, so ang gagawin natin diyan, kapag meron na tayong septage treatment plant, idi-dislodge iyan lahat. Walang bayad na ‘yon kasi every month ay may portion na rin na binabayaran kasama ng tubig na pambayad doon,” he said.
“Meron na, P2 per cubic meter (charge for sanitation) so kung kumukonsumo ka ng 20 cubic, may additional na P40 na billing ka sa sanitation, so that will cover the dislodging of your septic tank once every five years and the treatment of the waste water going to Puerto Bay. Ang plan kasi ay to build several waste water treatment facilities all over the city. Iyon lang ang una, may mga kasunod pa kapag nakaipon na ng pondo,” he said.