Prepare for drought

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Local Water Utilities Administration yesterday urged all water districts in provinces with near drought condition to undertake measures to ensure the continued supply of water to their concessionaires amid the prevailing moderate El Niño.

LWUA said it is fast tracking its water supply improvement and expansion projects to ensure that there will be no water shortage.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said the moderate El Niño could extend up to late May or early June this year. PAGASA said this could aggravate the already critical water situation in many areas and provinces that received way below normal rainfall since last August.

PAGASA said Capiz and Northern Samar are already in near drought status. The agency also listed 21 more provinces that are projected to experience dry spells. These are Benguet, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Batangas, Aurora, Quezon, Marinduque, Mindoro, Romblon, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, Aklan, Guimaras, Biliran, Davao del Sur, South Cotabato, Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat.

All water districts are advised to implement serious leak detection and repair program, campaign against illegal connections and conduct public information and education drive on the proper use and conservation of water.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways intensified its rainwater conservation.

DPWH Secretary Victor Domingo said the DPWH Task Groups for Rainwater Conservation will check the installation of rainwater impounding tanks in all regional and district engineering offices.