Water supply starts to improve: Manila Water

MANILA -- The affected areas in Metro Manila are starting to experience improvement in water supply as levels of reservoirs start to rise, water concessionaire Manila Water Company Inc. said on Friday.

In a statement, Manila Water said,"Pressure is expected to improve in the coming days as the reservoirs are continually refilled to enable water to reach highly elevated areas".

However, it also noted that levels of various reservoirs and water supply may have started to increase but some areas may still experience low water.

"It is slowly being distributed to severely affected barangays," it added.

The operational adjustments are temporary measures that Manila Water is undertaking to balance water supply distribution in its concession area which will result in more definite hours of water availability.

Manila Water said it continues to make calibrations in these adjustments to ensure that extended service interruptions will not last for the entire summer.

It said immediate solutions to cope with the surging demand are being prioritized, which includes the energization of the water treatment plant in Cardona, Rizal, which is part of the Rizal Province Water Supply Improvement Project.

The project is now delivering an initial 22 million liters per day (MLD) and is expected to produce up to 50 million liters per day by mid-April, Manila Water said.

Short-term solutions

In an earlier interview, Manila Water chief regulator Patrick Ty said they have started energizing the Cardona Water Treatment Plant in Rizal. If finished, there will be an additional 10 MLD supply.

The National Regulatory Board will tap deep wells and Maynilad will share 50 MLD to Manila Water to help with the problem. Several deep wells are also expected to augment water supply by April.

Meanwhile, Maynilad is not having the same problem despite the increase in water demand since it already improved its water transport and treatment facilities since 2010.

To address the issue of water interruption, Manila Water wants to fast-track China-funded Kaliwa and Laiban Dam, an initiative which is part of the long- term solution to provide water supply in Metro Manila. Once completed, the water reservoirs can supply the needs of Metro Manila until 2030 and beyond.

“We cannot add more because the existing infrastructure can only support 4,000 MLD. It will not be transported to Manila,” Ty said during a press briefing.

The concession agreement in 1997 states that Manila Water will receive 40 percent of the 4,000 MLD or 1,600 MLD, and Maynilad will have the bigger portion of 60 percent or 2,400 MLD.

He said Manila Water is getting the agreed allocation but the demand for water has now risen to 1,750 MLD.

In the previous months, Manila Water has sourced its deficit from La Mesa Water Dam but due to lack of rains and El Niño, the water reservoir is depleted.

The current water shortage has affected its franchise area in the east zone of Metro Manila including Quezon City, Pasig City, and Mandaluyong City.

“We hope for the understanding of the public. Rest assured, we are doing everything in our power to alleviate the problem,” Ty said. (PNA)

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