(File photo)

The whole city has been placed under a water crisis alert by the Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) after it observed that supply is continuously decreasing below average production capacity.

The PPCWD said in a social media advisory on February 23, 2019, that Puerto Princesa City was placed under “Water Crisis Alert Level 1” because the supply is already 80 percent below its average production capacity and is expected to even peter out in the coming weeks if rainfall does not occur.

The city was placed under the water crisis alert level on February 14, 2019.

“Low pressure to no water was experienced today and the past days due to the depletion of our water supply in the Campo Uno source brought by the dry season and the impending El Niño,” the water district management said.

It said they have been executing contingency measures since last week to address the shortage in the supply through their drought contingency plan (DCP).

Among the measures is to regulate valves in areas with high water pressure to be able to distribute to sites with low pressure and deploying lorry trucks to inject water in affected areas.

“As of now, the majority of our pumping stations are operational to augment our water supply,” it said.

In an interview with Palawan News, PPCWD acting information officer Jenn Rausa explained further that the water level has gone down from 180 cubic meters to the critical stage of 144 cubic meters daily.

“Kapag wala talagang ulan na maliligaw sa Campo Uno area, kahit isa lang, magtutuloy-tuloy ito. Ngayon nasa critical na ang water level natin, 144 na lang. Ang critical is 140, although fluctuating ang level niya, the fact na around 140 nalang sya, mababa na ‘yon,” she said.

Rausa said the flow rate remains around 300 cubic meters per hour, but this has a chance to decline to 100-50 cubic meters that may result in “water rationing.”

She said rationing the supply might probably happen the end of March.

“Hindi pa naman [magra-rationing ngayon]. Baka until next week kaya pa. Sa record po namin, baka di pa naman mag-rationing until end of March. Sana po. Sana talaga,” she added.

Rausa said under the situation, the PPCWD is advising and urging consumers to always store water to be used when the pressure drops.

She said they are also encouraging everyone to save and conserve water, report immediately any detected leak or illegal connection to their office.

She said water consumers can rest assured that they are doing their best to address the crisis situation responsibly.