Baguio City—The Metro Bangued Water District (MBWD) has narrowed the supply gap in four towns in Abra province, more than two months after partially commissioning a new bulk water supply project, its general manager said Thursday.

According to Philippines News Agency, general manager of MBWD, they currently lack 800 cubic meters of water for the expansion at the extremities of Bangued.

Balbin reported that the MBWD has met 1,700 cubic meters out of the 2,500-cubic-meter daily water needs of the towns of Tayum, Pidigan, Bangued, and Peñarrubia following the commissioning of the water treatment reservoir in Gaddani, Tayum. "We are still in the testing stage of the river water treatment facility that will augment the supply in Bangued. Once fully commissioned, we hope to not just ensure a 24-hour supply of water for structures that are more than one story high but also to expand services to the extremities or the farther barangays (villages)," she said.

The project began in 2020, and testing started in March this year, with the initial treatment of water being done at the Tayum Reservoir and the final treatment at the Bangued facility. The 10,000-cubic-meter Tayum facility is operating at 85 percent capacity. Balbin noted that they are also seeking additional sources to augment potable water needs in the four municipalities where demand has been rising due to the increasing number of people and business establishments. The MBWD had 800 consumers when it was set up in 1919, but the figure has since risen to more than 10,000 in Tayum, Pidigan, Bangued, and Peñarrubia, where they first sourced their supply.

Balbin also encouraged residents to harvest rainwater. "I hope the residents can help by using untreated water for their other needs like for the toilets or the gardens so that we can maximize the use of treated water for drinking or cooking needs," she said. The MBWD is also continuing to repair old pipelines and those damaged during the 2022 earthquake. "We are slowly locating and fixing leaks because these are old pipes so that we can also reduce wastage," she said.

Balbin emphasized that the MBWD is a small utility company focused on serving its concessionaires. "We have not increased prices for more than 15 years and we hope not to. Almost every day, we encounter line breakage due to motorists and we shoulder these expenses. We ask that our clients bear with us as we try our best to improve while retaining the prices," she said.

By admin