Deep wells, water sharing to solve dry taps

Releasing 150 days worth of water from Angat Dam was a wrong advice, according to MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velaso

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on Saturday said the agency will heed President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to solve the water crisis experienced in some parts of Metro Manila and Rizal, but not by releasing 150 days’ worth of supply from Angat Dam.

“I will comply because I know what the President meant by his order. But I will tell him that he got a wrong advice, and whoever advised that to the President does not do the operations of Angat Dam,” MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velaso said in a radio interview, referring to the release of water from Angat Dam to restore water service to affected households in Metro Manila.

Earlier, the MWSS outlined measures to address the water shortage affecting Manila and Rizal. The measures include allowing Manila Water to activate 101 deep wells which can supply consumers 101 million liters per day (MLD). The National Water Resources Board approved this move and Manila Water has begun activating these deep wells.

On top of the activation of the deep wells, Maynilad was asked to allocate 50 MLD and share water through cross border flow to initially provide additional 20 MLD to Manila Water’s supply this March, and the full 50 MLD by April.

Further, Manila Water was directed to activate its Cardona, Rizal treatment plant to provide an additional 100 MLD to its customers.

On Friday, Manila Water president Ferdinand dela Cruz announced that the plant was energized, with an initial 24 MLD expected to be fully operational, with 50 MLD available by the end of March, while 48 water tankers will deliver water to hardest-hit areas. LGU will help in the delivery through its own tankers.

The plan also includes allocating an additional 10 MLD of raw water from the portal and San Miguel Corporation’s Bulacan Bulk Water in coordination with MWSS and LGUs — which will provide potable water to affected communities via delivery trucks using untapped 140 MLD.

It added that Manila Water will continue to implement water interruptions in several areas in Metro Manila and Rizal to ensure that the water supply would last until June or the rainy season.