Water Desalination Technology in Brgy. Ansiray, Occidental Mindoro

Through the DOST Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) Program, Barangay Ansiray in Occidental Mindoro receives a water desalination technology from DOST-MIMAROPA to provide residents secured and easier access to potable water.

The barangay, located in the northern part of Occidental Mindoro can only be reached via a one-hour motorboat ride from the Caminawit Pier in mainland San Jose.  It is home to about 290 families who are suffering from insufficient supply of safe drinking water.  Due to its proximity to the Mindoro Strait saltwater intrusion is inevitable making available water supply unfit for human consumption and domestic purposes.

Only a shallow well and a water pump with a jetmatic tank which can only be used during rainy seasons are available in the barangay.  With this, majority or 90% of the residents of Barangay Ansiray has been getting their water from the mainland by buying purified water which costs PhP 45.00 per container (20-liter cap). Some households who cannot afford to buy purified ones rely on spring water from the nearby barangay which costs them PhP 1.00 per liter. The spring water has to be transported through a boat to reach Ansiray which makes it costly and more difficult to obtain, most especially during inclement weather or rainy season.

“Napaka -hirap po (ng buhay bago magkaroon ng water desalination technology),, isang balon at isang poso na may jetmatic tank pag rainy season lang na gagamit, kapag tag-araw start ng march-august tag-tuyot, sa Sitio Bunlao Brgy. Ipil doon umiigib sakay ng bangka, ang iba po ay nawasa sa Caminawit sa San Jose pa kumukuha ng tubig.” said Hon. Marlon Ramintas, the barangay captain.

Thus, DOST-MIMAROPA provided the barangay with a water desalination technology which can pull salt and impurities out of seawater, turning it into part of the drinking supply for the community. Through a process called reverse osmosis, purified water can be produced with 99% less dissolved solids and salts that is acceptable for drinking and use. These systems also incorporate a rinsing, chemical purifying apparatus to eliminate sodium chloride, avert scaling, and preserve system performance.

The water desalination technology will provide drinking water access to 236 households or approximately 1,450 individuals residing in the barangay. It will also minimize risks of water-borne diseases and allow residents to make use of their time to more productive endeavors such as livelihood, education, and recreational activities with their families.

“Napakalaking halaga, di na naming mararanasan ang shortage ng tubig pagdating ng tag-araw, kasi mayroon ng access hindi ordinaryong tubig na mang gagaling sa poso kundi purified water na” added Brgy. Captain Ramintas.

Residents from the barangay also received capability trainings to ensure that will be competent to operate and manage the water desalination facility. Operators will receive additional income from the BLGU-Ansiray, who will oversee the operations of the facility.