Parts of Metro Manila have been hit by water service interruptions since last week as Manila Water tries to conserve its supply as water reaches critical level at La Mesa dam due to the effects of hot weather and the El Niño phenomenon. Signs of the crisis can be seen around the town in the so-called “pila balde,” the long lines of pails fetching water from public pumps and rolling tanks rationing to affected barangays.
Despite the problem, business is booming for some traders. In Batasan Hills, Quezon City, people are also lining up to buy large containers they could use for storing water at home.
Those big, blue drums have become in demand as they can stock enough water for small households to last a few days, minimizing the hassle of having to line up at the public pump every now and then.
Since they were much sought after, sellers have doubled their prices, which buyers willingly paid for since it meant having enough saved water for bathing, washing and flushing toilets.
Unfortunately, due to the need, stocks soon ran out. Those who found themselves without water found themselves in a bind. Where will they get water and where will they keep it once they find a source for it?