Group urges Gov’t to limit water usage in pools, other businesses amid supply woes
Robie de Guzman • June 22, 2019 • 1132
MANILA, Philippines – A labor group on Saturday (June 22) called on the national government to intervene in the worsening water supply issues in Metro Manila due to the rapidly dropping water level at Angat Dam.
The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) suggested for the government to limit the usage of water-intensive facilities, such as swimming pools and other businesses until the water at Angat dam stabilizes.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on Saturday reported that Angat Dam’s water level dropped to 159.78 meters.
“Because water is a basic requirement for the 13 million Metro Manila residents, it must be given priority over the profit margin of businesses,” the group said in a statement.
“To address the intermittent water supply required to households of Metro Manila, government must intercede to limit the water usage of water-intensive facilities and businesses such as golf courses, swimming pools and water fountains,” it added.
The group estimated there are about 15 golf courses in areas covered by both water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water, including publicly-owned Veterans and Camp Aguinaldo golf courses in Quezon City and the Army and Navy golf clubs in Fort Bonifacio.
There are also over 10,000 swimming pools all over the metropolis, including water parks, swimming resorts, club houses, indoor pools of condominiums and private pools in posh subdivisions.
“Why should the people stand in line for water rations on a daily basis when the elite consume so much water for their luxuries? Why are the poor again the first to sacrifice during a water crisis when they did not benefit when both Maynilad and Manila Water were brimming with profit,” said BMP leader Leody De Guzman in a statement.
The BMP also called for the suspension of building permits for new businesses which require huge amounts of water until Angat dam water level stabilizes.
The group also called on the government, particularly the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to study the deployment of more radical contingency measures to address the worsening water supply in Metro Manila as its public appeal for water conservation is not enough.
The BMP is also pushing for the reversal of the policy of water privatization that resulted into the concession of the operations of the Metropolitan Wateworks and Sewerage Systems (MWSS).
The group claims the privatization of Metro Manila’s water supply did not improve services and sustain the needs of Metro Manila residents.
MANILA, Philippines – The Maynilad Water Services has announced a schedule of temporary water service interruptions in parts of Metro Manila from August 20 (Tuesday) to August 21 (Wednesday).
In an advisory, Maynilad said the water service disruption slated from August 20 at 6 p.m. to August 21 at 6 a.m. will affect several areas of Manila, Caloocan, Malabon, and Navotas.
The west zone water concessionaire said the service interruption is due to maintenance activities aimed at improving water services.
Below is the list of affected barangays and their corresponding supply interruption schedules:
Barangay 124 to 127
Barangay 129 to 146
Dalagang Bukid East/C3
Barangay North Bay Blvd.
San Rafael Village
Maynilad urged its customers to store water at least three days before the scheduled interruption to prevent simultaneous heavy withdrawals of water from its pipelines, which can reduce water pressure and cause some customers to have no water earlier than scheduled.
The water concessionaire assured water tankers will be on standby to deliver water to affected areas as needed.
Upon resumption of water service, customers are also advised to let the water flow out for a few seconds until the water clears.
MANILA, Philippines – State weather service PAGASA has declared the end of weak El Niño which has started in the last quarter of 2018.
This means that the temperature in the Pacific Ocean has returned to normal and will remain so until the end of 2019.
During the past three to five months, areas of Oriental Mindoro and Sultan Kudarat experienced less rainfall.
But this August, PAGASA expects normal rainfall level in areas of Calabarzon, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, Metro Manila, most parts of Eastern Visayas, and the provinces of Nueva Viscaya, Quirino, Bataan, Aurora, Agusan Del Norte, and Surigao Del Norte.
The El Niño has incurred P7.963-B worth of damage in agriculture across the country, according to data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in JUNE 27, 2019.
This is apart from other problems such as the water crisis that hit Metro Manila when the level of water reserve in Angat Dam dipped below the minimum operating level of 180 meters.
For now, the dam’s supply is gradually recovering as it hit 177.12 meters at 6:00 a.m. today (August 16).
With this development, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) may soon increase water allocation in Metro Manila to 40 cubic meters per second from the current 36 cubic meters per second, according to the agency’s Executive Director Sevillo David. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)
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