Manila Water eyes service adjustments as Angat dam nears the critical level

Robie de Guzman   •   June 17, 2019   •   1540

File photo: Image of Angat Dam taken on May 2, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – East Zone concessionaire Manila Water Company Inc. hinted at the possibility of implementing rotational water service interruptions as the water level in Angat dam continues to drop despite recent rains.

In an advisory posted on Facebook Sunday, the Manila Water said the Angat dam level has further dipped and is nearing the critical level of 160 meters.

As of 6 a.m. on Monday (June 17), Angat’s water level is at 162.39 meters.

“As a result, Manila Water may need to make further operational adjustments affecting water supply for our customers,” the Manila Water said.

Water level in Angat Dam continues to decline and is nearing the low critical level of 160 meters (162.78m as of June…

Posted by Manila Water on Sunday, 16 June 2019

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has declared the start of the rainy season last week.

But even with the recent rains, according to Manila Water, the water level at the Angat Dam remains low.

If this continues, the company said it may be forced to implement contingency measures to manage the limited water supply.

“Maaari po kaming magpatupad muli ng mga ‘rotational water service interruptions’ sa buong East zone,” its advisory read.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) earlier announced it has reduced the allocation for Metro Manila from 48 cubic meters per second to 46 CBS for the month of June due to lower water levels at Angat Dam.

READ: Water interruptions loom as NWRB cuts allocation for Metro Manila

With the dwindling water supply, consumers were advised to brace for possible water interruptions.

The Manila Water expressed hope that the situation will improve once there is enough rainwater to fill up dams.

It also assured to regularly post updates on water supply condition on its social media accounts.

West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc., for its part, said it also implemented water interruptions from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. when water usage is usually low.

The limited water supply will especially affect consumers in elevated areas.

Maynilad reduces hours of water interruption in affected areas

Marje Pelayo   •   November 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Maynilad customers can relax a bit as the water concessionaire announced shorter hours of water service interruptions.

Maynilad said recent days of rainshowers helped in replenishing water supply in Ipo Dam.

“Twenty percent of our customers have interruptions of about 8 to 10 hours. But that is starting to reduce because of the rains that came in but we don’t know for how long again,” explained Maynilad President and CEO Ramoncito Fernandez.

Around nine million households in the West Zone of Metro Manila depend on Maynilad for water supply especially if water supply becomes thin during the dry season when Angat Dam fails to replenish as predicted by the state weather service PAGASA.

According to Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), they just limited the allocation so as not to deplete the supply in Angat Dam.

“Wala naman tayong (There is no) water crisis. We are just making sure that water crisis last March will not happen anymore,” said MWSS Administrator Emmanuel Salamat.

Meanwhile, the MWSS is pushing measures to protect Laguna Lake from pollution.

“We have just proposed protection and preservation of our Laguna Lake and declare it as a vital source of our domestic freshwater supply,” Salamat said.

So far, Maynilad has treatment plants that generate water from Laguna Lake and supplies to 310 million liters of water daily to its customers.

According to Fernandez, Laguna Lake can produce the volume of domestic water being supplied by the Angat Dam.

Laguna Lake is over 90,000 hectares in area which is larger than Singapore.

“To my mind, Laguna Lake is the biggest body of water that can supply Metro Manila and even the surrounding provinces like Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal,” he explained.

According to Maynilad, though Laguna Lake is used for fishery, it should primarily serve as a source of water for domestic use. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Angat Dam may not be replenished until end of the year – PAGASA

Marje Pelayo   •   November 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – State weather service PAGASA believes that the water level in Angat Dam is still far from reaching the maximum water level of 212 meters even before the year ends.

PAGASA said the amount of rainfall in the country is still not enough to replenish what was lost during the onset of El Niño that started last year up to the first quarter of 2019.

Weather specialist Benison Estareja said observing the current state of the weather, Angat Dam’s water level may only reach up to a maximum of 190 meters.

“Ngayon ay nasa normal pa naman ang water level natin pero ang sinasabi natin na normal high water level na 210 meters ay malabo,” Estareja said.

(So far, our water level remains normal but not the normal high level of 210 meters.)

According to the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), water supply interruptions will continue for Metro Manila clients in order to reserve water supply for the dry season.

“Sa ganito pong lebel sa 190 meters ay kaya naman nating ma-manage yan. Kaya lang magpapatuloy yung kabawasan alokasyon para ito ay mapaabot sa summer next year,” Sevillo David, the NWRB Executive Director said.

(We can still manage with 190 meters water level. However, we need to continue with limited allocation so our supply would last until summer next year.)

Water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water are both imposing water service interruptions to its customers.

The two companies advised clients to store water enough for use until normal schedule resumes.

“Kapag mataas ang lebel ng Ipo dam, iniigsian natin (ang water interruption),” said Grace Laxa, Maynilad’s Media Relations Asst. Manager

(When Ipo Dam’s water level is high, we cut short the hours of water interruption.)

“Imbes na halimbawa may area tayo ng 10 hours pupwedeng 8 hours nalang ang kanilang interruption (For instance, an area that experiences 10 hours interruption will only have 8 hours),” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte previously stated that he will use his extraordinary power to solve problems in water supply in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

For now, according to the NWRB, the best and the easiest way to replenish water supply is through deep well. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Duterte may impose drastic actions vs Maynilad, Manila Water if water shortage worsens – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   October 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has warned to take up drastic actions against water concessionaires in Metro Manila if water shortage worsens, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the lack of action on the part of Maynilad and Manila Water may be a factor in the measures that the president may take on the problem.

These measures, according to Panelo, may include revocation of contracts to operate, and to make water concessionaires “accountable” if they are found at fault in the situation.

“I supposed the fact that they have not undertaken corrective measures that will prevent the evolution of the incoming crisis again would be a factor that would make the president decide on drastic action against them” he told reporters.

Water concessionaires, Maynilad and Manila Water have scheduled rotational water service disruptions starting last Oct. 24 to manage the supply from the main water supplier for Metro Manila, Angat Dam.

The water disruption lasts between four to ten hours for Manila Water consumers, and eight to 18 hours for Maynilad customers.

Water utility firms have explained it implemented rotational supply cuts to avoid a bigger problem with water supply next year.

“Kung magpapatuloy tayo na ibibigay natin yung parehong service level at hindi tayo magpapatupad ng water interruptions mas madaling bababa yung level ng Angat,” Manila Water spokesperson Jeric Sevilla said.

Based on the monitoring of state weather bureau, as of 6 a.m. Oct. 28, the water level at Angat dam is at 185.28 meters, slightly lower than the 185.41 meters recorded on Oct. 27.

There are only five meters left before it dips to its minimum operating level of 180 meters. The dam’s water elevation has consistently declined in the past few weeks due to lack of heavy rainfall that could raise its reserves.

Manila Water has expressed support for the planned construction of Kaliwa Dam which is seen to help allocate additional 600 million liters of water per day to Metro Manila.

“Itong Kaliwa Dam is something that we welcome, in fact, hindi lamang Kaliwa dam any other source of water na pwedeng mapagkunan ng additional sources of water supply for the next years,” Sevilla said.

However, the project construction has yet to start as the government is still in the process of reviewing its plan after receiving complaints regarding its implementation.

The Metropolitan Water Works and Sewerage System is looking at the Wawa Calawis project and the East Bay Water Supply project to improve the water supply in Metro Manila.

The Wawa Calawis project is seen to ensure water security in the metropolis as it can deliver 80 million liters per day, while the East Bay Water Supply project may be able to supply 50 million liters per day.

But these projects may become operational by 2022.

While waiting for completion, consumers in Metro Manila are urged to conserve water to manage the current supply from Angat dam and avoid a bigger problem during dry season next year. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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