ZCWD PR 007 s. 2020
Friday, February 21, 2020
ZCWD: Water level at 73.92m, very critical
As of 2:00 PM of February 21, 2020, Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) diversion dam (weir) had substantially dropped to 73.92 meters, just .10m shy of its record-low of 73.82 recorded on February 26, 2016, at the height of the El Niño that year.
This is critically below the normal level of 74.20 meters needed to serve around 64,000 active connections under its service area adequately.
Water Production Division Manager Engr. Eugene Domingo said that the prevailing dry spell and lack of significant rainfall at the watershed area contributed to the drastic drop in water level, from 74 meters last registered on February 19 (10 PM) it has drastically dropped to 73.82 meters today, prompting ZCWD to raise the alarm to emergency level.
Water production from the Pamucutan Water Treatment Plant (WTP), operated by PrimeWater Infrastructure Inc. at the west coast, stands at 23MLD way below its contracted volume of 50MLD.
On February 10, 2020, ZCWD imposed a second water rationing scheme. However, due to the drastic drop in water level, consumers are advised that there might be delays in the distribution of water in their area.
With this drastic drop in water supply, the ZCWD will implement a revised water rationing schedule (WRS 004) starting February 26, further reducing by at least 2 hours of water availability in some areas. The schedule is published in this daily and the ZCWD Facebook page and disseminated through various television and radio stations.
During El Niño 2016, the lowest recorded dam level and production output were on April 3, which registered 73.78m and 44MLD for the Pasonanca WTP, respectively. It was only in May that year that the dam level started to breach the 74.20m normal level and stabilized towards the end of July 2016.
In a related development, PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration) revealed a forecast for Zamboanga City, and the entire Zamboanga Peninsula remains bleak as rainfall will remain below normal this month with hopes that March will bring near-normal rainfall conditions, according to Weather Forecaster Rodel Inclan.
The PAGASA Zamboanga City Officer In-charge added the onset of rains will be May this year yet. (Raul Ruben Rivera, Jr. SCRO, CREAS, ZCWD)