Davao City will be among the affected areas when El Niño is expected to hit the country by the end of April.
However, the Davao City Water District assured of ample water supply on areas that it serves.
“In the recent advisory released by Pagasa, it has already included Davao as among the areas that will be affected by El Niño but we are going to feel it around last week of April,” deputy spokesperson Jovana Cresta Duhaylungsod said during the Kapehan sa Dabaw press conference on Monday
According to Duhaylungsod, the DCWD’s major sources are groundwater with facilities constructed 150-250 below ground level.
“This means that the sources that we have here in Davao City, being groundwater, are more resilient to the El Niño effects compared to the surface sources like those in the National Capital Region,” Duhaylungsod said.
According to Duhaylungsod, there are 224,000 service connections that DCWD serves and about 9% experience low water pressure to no water during peak hours, usually from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Duhaylungsod, however assured this is “not due to water supply shortage,” she said.
“This is because of these areas are situated in locations with high elevation or far from DCWD’s production facilities,” she said.
To address this, according to Duhaylungsod, they are doing pipelining and other improvements also in relation to the Davao City bulk water project.
Based on the latest data for February, the utility produces 308,370 cubic meters per day, which is more than the water demand of 224,247 cubic meters.
Among the strategies to assure ample supply, according to Duhaylungsod, is to secure sources through the integrated watershed rehabilitation program.
“What we do, through this program, is we maintain abundance of supply of surface and groundwater through tree planting and patenting, promote sustainable practices in the watershed, forest and water monitoring and evaluation and protection,” Duhaylungsod said.
The DCWD also implements enhanced system efficiency through lessening water losses to ensure increased supply. “We are geared toward reducing our water losses by 5% by 2023,” Duhaylungsod said.
The DCWD also calls for the participation of the public in water conservation. “We intend to manage customer demand. For the longest time, our battle cry has always been to control water usage to practical level,” she said.
They also build strong networks among the local government units, local government agencies, non-government organizations, and all sectors such as the Watershed Management Council and the Davao River Water Quality Management Area Governing Board, and the regular city-initiated disaster preparedness coordination meetings.