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Increasing heat index depletes MNWD supply

By Jason B. Neola


The Metro Naga Water District is attributing its current water supply issues to the rising heat index brought about by the El Nino phenomenon, saying that the warming depletes the underground water deposits from which it sources its water.


MNWD General Manager Florencio Tam-Mongoso Jr., however, said that the problem is not only felt by the water concessionaires in its coverage area but throughout the entire Philippines.


It should be recalled that the heat index in Pili, Camarines Sur, reached a scorching 48°C on May 1, 2024. During that time, extreme heat led to the unfortunate deaths of three people in the area.


Mongoso explained that the phenomenon caused the water deposits to evaporate, leaving the earth with depleted water reserves. “The higher the temperature, the higher the evaporation,” he said.


He also said that in most cases, MNWD’s motors or engines installed at the pumping stations to siphon underground water overheat due to the absence of water or inadequate water levels.


Mongoso said the situation becomes more problematic due to distribution lines being accidentally hit in areas where road expansions are being conducted.


Additionally, repairs and enhancement projects being undertaken by the MNWD have also contributed to the water supply issues.


Mongoso admitted that these days, when such situations are being experienced, the supply capacity of the water firm can be considered inadequate, as if 3 to 5 pumping stations are not working.


The newly commissioned Carolina pumping station 4 and Pacol pumping station 5 are not yet enough to make up for the lost amount of water or to significantly improve MNWD’s current supply capacity.


Mongoso gladly announced that 27 pumping stations have already been installed with new motors in the hope that this will improve the water supply in its coverage area despite the warming.


He said that although we are facing problems with the water supply, we are still fortunate because the MNWD can still afford to supply water 24/7, unlike the water district in Baguio City where it operates only 2 days a week, and during those 2 days, the faucets dispense water for only 6 hours.


The situation in Baguio City is almost similar to Angeles City in Pampanga, where the water district has to set a schedule for water distribution.


Mongoso is considering adopting the idea of parallel pumps, which means putting up one or two more pumps in an already existing pumping station. However, the depth of each pipe should be different from each other so that they will access different strata of water supply.

NEWLY COMMISSIONED Carolina 4 Pumping Station (above) dispenses 60 liters of water per second and the Pacol 5 Pumping Station, 45 liters of water per second. PHOTO COURTESY OF MNWD/CHOPPY DELA CRUZ

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