Gov't, private groups give aid to areas hit by water shortage

MANILA -- In response to President Duterte's ultimatum to provide ample water supply to affected households, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on Friday laid out its short and long term measures to address the water shortage with both government and private groups helping concessionaire Manila Water serve its affected customers.

In a statement, MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velasco said Manila Water has a water supply shortfall of 150 million liters daily (MLD) from its allocation of 1,600 MLD from Angat Dam.

The shortfall is due to the increase in population, demand of consumers, on top of the early onslaught of the dry season.

"Manila Water has already started energizing and activating these deep wells as the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) through its Executive Director Virgilio David approved they activate 101 deep wells which can supply 101 MLD to its consumers," the statement read.

Another water concessionaire, Maynilad, also agreed to allocate 50 MLD and share water through cross border flow to ease the problem.

"They will also augment the water supply needs of Manila Water including the deployment of water trucks to affected areas that will service or benefit 50,000 households in Quezon City, Parañaque, and Taguig," it added.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led the initial opening of the cross-border flow along with Velasco, Maynilad president Ramoncito S. Fernandez, and Manila Water president Ferdinand M. dela Cruz.

The cross border will initially provide additional 20 MLD to Manila Water’s supply this March and full 50 MLD by April.

They will also give an additional 10 MLD of their raw water allocation from the portal.

Manila Water, on the other hand, was ordered to activate and operationalize its Cardona, Rizal treatment plant to provide an additional 100 MLD to its consumers.

Dela Cruz said the Cardona Treatment Plant is now energized with initial 24 MLD and will be fully operational with 50 MLD by end of this month.

About 38 water tankers are delivering water to hardest hit areas with local government units (LGUs) vigorously helping in delivering water via water tankers in their respective areas affected by water shortage.

San Miguel Corporation’s Bulacan Bulk Water, through its president Ramon S. Ang, also volunteered to provide potable water through deliveries of trucks to affected communities using its untapped 140 MLD in coordination with MWSS and LGUs. (PNA)

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