More water rationing to come in Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 11:48

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

If the rains don’t come within the next few weeks, more water rationing for the city will come, according to an unconfirmed information sent to Table Talk. Our rivers, source of the city’s water supply, are becoming drier and drier everyday and the rivers capacity to fill up to the brim our water impounding dams take days to do it for the city’s daily demand of water supply that normally takes only overnight, during wet days. This is an alarming news if true and the city government must act fast to assist our water district on this calamity.

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Many areas of the city are experiencing trauma and their restlessness are brewing into anarchy. Table Talk has received reports that in some barangays, residents are boring holes and even digging canals in some concrete city streets to reach the main water pipe just to gather some precious potable water that doesn’t reach their residences even on a water rationing schedule. Even the thousands of liters of free potable water distributed by the water district on their water tankers for a certain area that is scheduled, is not sufficient to meet the demand in many of the city’s barangays.

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Table Talk is not a “prophet of doom”, but this is an emergency and has to be dealt with by the city government with emergency powers to avert further sufferings and inconveniences by the city’s population. Although the cause of the drying up is a natural phenomenon that no mortal can stop, yet it can be solved with man-made remedies and preparations before the El Niño struck. This is now “water under the bridge” because the city of Zamboanga is now on a calamitous situation.

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Every year, Zamboanga City is experiencing a very dry season and almost always the water district implements water rationing but surprisingly the water firm has never adopted remedial measures to at least counter the effect of a yearly dry spell. Every year when water rationing is implemented by the water district, the same reason is given by their officials, that it is a natural phenomenon meaning only God have the solution. But God Almighty gave people brains to think and solve and help themselves believing that human beings should not expect that GOD will build the water dam for us and send us water pipes for water distribution. This is unholy and someone has to be responsible for this brazen inadequate foresight.

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Recently, Zamboanga City was informed that the water dam at the west coast constructed by a Manila builder was complete and ready for operation to supply water for the city with big China made plastic water distribution pipes ready for installation but the builder cannot implement water distribution piping, because it cannot lay in place those China made water pipes because a barangay road was newly completed and concreted and they cannot open that barangay road to lay the distribution pipes. The water district distribution crew has opened many times city concrete roads to lay distribution pipes to newly approved water connection of malls and residences in the city, causing enormous traffic jam in the city. Can they not do it in a far-flung barangay at the west coast where traffic is less so the vital distribution pipes can be installed for operation? And afterwards repair the damage that they used to do in the city? Something is wrong somewhere and it must be corrected by that infamous Manila based builder.

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Decades ago, a famous European water company, Vivendi Water, offered a “build, operate and transfer” (BOT) scheme to the water district at a price affordable for the city government and water agency. The offer was already approved by the Regional Development Council (RDC) headed by the NEDA. The offer was for building a dam, distribution rehabilitation and other infrastructure for the safe drinking potable water. But, just as soon as it was approved, the offer was scuttled by the water district management for reasons that it will increase the distribution price of water in the city and maybe for other reasons. That was almost 20 years ago and had it been implemented, today the city could be enjoying the supply of clean potable water rain or shine from a famous European water company, that is supplying, most of the water in France and other parts of Europe. Zamboanga City missed that opportunity to improve the water service because of impulsive decision from the water district management.

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In every dry season when water pressure is low, a spring cannot go higher than its source. But in an underground source, it can go deeper to draw more water pressure and God should not be made a reason for management’s failure to anticipate the hazard.”What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve” I learned this idea from the primary school days.

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Scoop: In the elementary grade of “my” old school, we were taught of a story of two little children drawing water, it goes this way: “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.....” later in high school science subject, we were taught that “water seeks its own level”. So water must be down the hill not up the hill. This is for the water district management to ponder while the water crisis is here. Agree or disagree.