The bad news is all customers of Manila Water in Metro Manila and Rizal province will now experience service interruptions every day until the rains come. The good news is these households, numbering 1.2 million, would have water running down their taps for a few hours, based on the company’s new distribution scheme.
Manila Water Co. Inc. on Thursday said it would stop deploying water tanks in neighborhoods so that it could focus on providing water to hospitals and schools.
The water agency said all of its customers would have no water from six to 20 hours every day.
“This is because it’s already across the entire East Zone. Kumbaga, wala na kaming pipiliin. Lahat na (We will no longer select areas, everyone will be affected),” Manila
Water Communications Planning and Tactical Development Manager Dittie Galang said in a phone interview.
“With this new scheme, we are expecting na hindi na namin kailangan pang mag-deploy ng tankers dahil lahat naman ay magkakaroon ng tubig sa mga bahay nila for limited hours (that we would no longer need to deploy tankers because everyone will have water in their homes for limited hours),” Galang told The Manila Times.
Manila Water services the cities of Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasig, Pateros, San Juan, Taguig, Makati and parts of Quezon City and Manila. It also serves Antipolo City and the Rizal towns of Angono, Baras, Binagonan, Cainta, Cardona, Jala-Jala, Morong, Pililla, Rodriquez, Tanay, Taytay and San Mateo.
The company announced on Wednesday that customers would experience six to 20 hours of water service interruption under its revised water interruption scheme, which took effect on Thursday.
Under the new scheme, which will last for the next three months or until the rainy season sets in, valves will be closed, meaning water supply would be cut. However, when water is available in taps, pressure would be lower than usual.
Last week, the company said portions of Metro Manila and Rizal would experience little to no water supply starting March 6 because of the declining water level at La Mesa Dam.
Although the supply crunch was aggravated by the El Niño phenomenon, Manila Water said it got worse when customers, whose water supply remained normal, started storing water. This caused reservoir volume in several areas to decline below minimum, preventing water supply to reach elevated communities.
Manila Water said demand had been pushed to an average of 1,740 million liters per day (MLD), higher than its allocation of 1,600 MLD.
Manila Water Chief Operating Officer Geodino Carpio earlier said demand had been increasing annually, but in 2016, demand surpassed its allocation from Angat Dam.
Angat Dam is the primary source of water for Metro Manila residents. Water from Angat Dam flows to the Ipo Dam, and eventually to La Mesa Dam.
The National Water Resources Board provides 46 cubic meters per second of water from Angat Dam to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System) MWSS. This is shared by Maynilad (60 percent) and Manila Water (40 percent).
Although Angat Dam’s water level remains normal, the water from the dam passes through several tunnels and aqueducts into La Mesa Dam before it reaches the company’s Balara Treatment Plants and the East La Mesa Treatment Plant.
Carpio said Manila Water hopes to start operating the Rizal Province Water Supply Improvement Project, which would provide 50 MLD by the end of the month.
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