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Long queues, water recycling: How are Filipinos coping with water shortage?

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

Residents stock up on water that they have painstakingly collected from roving water trucks.

Thousands of households in Mandaluyong City and other parts of Metro Manila and Rizal province being serviced by Manila Water, are still without water for almost a week now.

In a report on UNTV News and Rescue’s CNEWS by Joan Nano, residents and establishment owners in Barangka Drive have been complaining that their taps have remained dry since Thursday night (March 7), affecting their daily needs and operations.

They also lamented Manila Water’s alleged delayed distribution of water ration in their village, with some reporting that the first water tank only arrived around 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday (March 12).

Naturally, a mob of residents carrying hordes of pails, large containers and drums swarmed the tank, swiftly depleting its contents.

While others returned home with drums full of fresh water, some who lined up last were left high and dry, causing squabbles to break out over the little water supply.

So, how are they coping with water shortage?

In order to survive, some residents have dug up their tried and tested water conservation techniques by recycling the water they used in taking a bath or washing their clothes and kitchen utensils to flush their toilets. Water used in washing uncooked rice is also being used to water the plants.

Others have started using disposable plates and utensils while some wrap their plates with plastic to eliminate any need to wash the plates after eating.

Manila Water has earlier assured it will deploy round-the-clock water tankers in areas hit by water service interruption. Water deliveries, however, will prioritize hospitals.  

Manila Water has earlier cited the critical water level of La Mesa Dam due to the effects of prevailing El Niño phenomenon as among the reasons of its currently limited water supply.

As of March 12 at 6 a.m., the water level of La Mesa dam was at 68.85 meters which is below its critical level of 69 meters above sea level, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Hydrology Division

To help address water shortage, Maynilad has agreed to share its supply with Manila Water.

According to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Maynilad will share at least 50 million liters per day to help fill Manila Water’s shortage of around 150 to 280 liters of water per day.

Maynilad services the western half of Metro Manila while Manila Water provides for the East Zone of Metro Manila and Rizal province.

Manila Water is also expected to activate its water treatment plant in Rizal this month to serve as another source to supply households.

The MWSS, however, clarified that the main source of water for Metro Manila is Angat Dam and La Mesa Dam is only a reserve should Angat dam water level drops.

Angat Dam water level is currently at 200 meters which is below its normal level of 210 meters.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has earlier assured there is enough water in Angat Dam for Metro Manila for the entire dry season. – Robie De Guzman

Read: La Mesa Dam needs a week of continuous rain to recover – PAGASA

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No water in 20 QC villages due to emergency leak repairs – Manila Water

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

The Manila Water Co. announced on Thursday that 20 villages in Quezon City will experience temporary water service interruptions as it undertakes emergency leak repairs.

In an advisory posted on its Facebook page, Manila Water said the joint leak repair and pipe interconnection/relocation at the Elliptical Road in Quezon City was due to an accidental breakage on a major pipeline caused by one of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) contractors.

“Due to an accidental breakage caused by a DPWH contractor, damaging our major pipeline at Elliptical Road corner Commonwealth Avenue (northbound) in Quezon City, Manila Water is currently undertaking emergency leak repairs which will result in temporary water service interruption,” the advisory read.

SERVICE ADVISORY: JOINT LEAK REPAIR & PIPE INTERCONNECTION/RELOCATION (MRT 7) ACTIVITIES AT ELLIPTICAL ROAD, QUEZON…

Posted by Manila Water on Wednesday, 22 May 2019

The water distributor said the repair works is expected to be completed on May 24 (Friday) at 6 a.m.

Affected villages are listed below:

  • Ramon Magsaysay
  • Alicia
  • Santo Cristo
  • Bagong Pag-asa
  • Old Capitol Site
  • Vasra
  • Project 6
  • Culiat
  • New Era 
  • Bahay Toro
  • Tandang Sora
  • Pasong Tamo
  • Central
  • Malaya
  • Pinyahan
  • Sikatuna Village
  • San Vicente
  • Teachers Village East
  • Teachers Village West
  • U.P. Village

The Manila Water said the water service interruption will affect 242,000 people in 44,056 households, commercial and business establishments.

“The interconnection of the new 900mm relocated pipeline at Elliptical Road corner North Avenue, which was previously planned for May 24 to 25, will also be undertaken at the same time to minimize impact to the affected customers,” it added.

The Manila Water advised affected residents to store enough water as some of these areas may still experience service interruptions even after the restoration “due to the still-limited raw water supply.”

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Manila Water customers to start receiving bill rebates in June

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

Manila Water customers who had been affected by the water crisis in March will start receiving their rebates.

The rebates for the more than 100,000 affected customers will be reflected in the June water bill.

Based on the announcement made by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), all residents who had been affected by the crisis will receive 153.93 rebates for the 10 cubic meters of their water consumption in the month of May.

Residents in the severely affected areas who had been rendered waterless 24/7 from March 6 to 31 will be given additional 2,196.94 rebates.

In case the rebate is higher than the actual consumption, the remaining value will be applied to the next month’s water bill, or will be deducted to the previous month’s unpaid bill.

MWSS chief regulator, Atty Patrick Ty said, “the entire 534 million yun po babalik yan lahat sa publiko wala pong maiiwan o walang mapupunta sa MWSS [the entire 534 Million will be returned to the public. Nothing will be left or go to the MWSS].”

Manila Water Spokesperson Jeric Sevilla, on the other hand, said, “susundin natin yun. Kaya ngayon yung rebate para sa customers amounting to 534M, we will coordinate with the regulatory office in terms of implementing yung mga mechanics at guidelines [We will abide by it. The rebates for the customers amounting to 534M will be coordinated with the regulatory office in terms of the implementation of the mechanics and guidelines].”

Customers who will receive rebates from Manila Water are from Taguig, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Quezon City and several towns from Rizal.

The Water Bill Waiver Program is part of the 1.13 Billion-peso fines that was meted out on Manila Water due to its failure to supply water to its customers.

The MWSS also ordered Manila Water to put up a new facility for its water source development measures that cost 600 Million pesos.

This will prevent the incident from happening again and to allow Manila Water to come up with an alternative source of water supply.

Meanwhile, the MWSS has also issued a Notice of Service Obligation Failure to Maynilad Water Services (Maynilad) for the mounting complaints on its services.

Atty. Ty said the 15 days they gave to Maynilad for it to address its water supply problem had already lapsed.

The water regulatory board is giving Maynilad five days to refute the notice and state why they should not be meted out penalties.

Most of the complaints that the MWSS received against Maynila had come from Las Pinas, Muntinlupa and Cavite customers.

Maynilad, in a statement, insisted that the penalty has no basis. It also belied reports that its customers had experienced water interruption for 15 days.

The water company insisted that only 12 percent of its customers had experienced water supply interruption and the agency had adopted measures of rationing water in the affected areas. (with reports from Joan Nano) /mbmf

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No water in 20 Quezon City villages from May 24 to 25 —Manila Water

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

People queuing for rationed water

Residents in 20 areas in Quezon City will experience a seven-hour water service interruption starting Friday night, the Manila Water Co. announced on Monday.

The water distributor said this is due to relocation of major pipelines along Elliptical Road.

“More than 242,000 population in 20 barangays in Quezon City will experience water service interruption as Manila Water relocates its major pipeline at the corner of Elliptical Road and North Avenue to make way for the construction of the MRT 7,” it said in an advisory.

The water service interruption will be implemented from 11 p.m. on May 24 (Friday) to 6 a.m. on May 25 (Saturday).

Affected areas are as follows:

  • Bagong Pag-asa
  • Bahay Toro
  • Alicia
  • Old Capitol Site
  • Pasong Tamo
  • Pinyahan
  • Central Culiat
  • Malaya
  • New Era
  • Project 6
  • Ramon Magsaysay
  • San Vicente
  • Santo Cristo
  • Sikatuna Village
  • Tandang Sora
  • Teachers Village East
  • Teachers Village West
  • UP Village
  • Vasra

Manila Water advised affected residents to store enough water as some of these areas may still experience service interruptions even after the restoration due to limited water supply.

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