Bakit wala na namang tubig?
Since last year, we are experiencing water interruptions. We are from south and daily, there is no water supply from around 5pm to 11pm. So we are washing our dishes and baby bottles by 11pm – every single day for months already.
And just recently, the “Bakit wala na namang tubig” question has been answered. I am lucky to be one of the bloggers invited by Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad) for an educational dam tour. We have visited Ipo Dam and Angat Dam, as well as Maynilad’s La Mesa Water Treatment Plant 2. We were enlightened by the current situation of our water supply.
The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) is the government agency responsible for determining the allocation of raw water supply from Angat Dam for Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and NIA. The normal allocation for MWSS is 48 cubic meters per second (cms). This supply is shared among residents of Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan.
Last June 2019, the NWRB reduced raw water allocation for the MWSS in an effort to preserve the remaining water in Angat Dam, which plunged to below-critical levels due to scant rainfall. At present, water level in Angat Dam is above its minimum operating level. However, the NWRB still retained reduced allocation for MWSS (currently at 42 cms). This is because the water level is still lower than ideal, and NWRB wants to ensure that there will still be enough water by the time the summer months arrive.
And because now we are approaching summer season, the consumer demand for water increases. Scarce rainfall over the Angat and Ipo Dams, might force the NWRB to further reduce raw water allocation for the MWSS. Such reduction would mean longer daily rotational water service interruptions for customers of the concessionaires.
Maynilad has been implementing mitigating measures since last year—measures that would essentially add water supply for distribution to its 9.7 million customers despite the shortage from Angat and Ipo Dams. Here are the Maynilad preparations for summer 2020 :
- Optimizing its Putatan Water Treatment Plant 1 (PWTP 1) – Maynilad’s first facility to draw water from Laguna Lake since 2010, PWTP 1 produces 150 million liters per day (MLD) of potable water.
- Commissioning of PWTP 2 – Maynilad invested in a second treatment plant that draws more water from Laguna Lake. Inaugurated last Feb. 2019, the initial output of PWTP 2 was at 100 MLD as of April 2019, and this was increased by another 50 MLD as of Oct. 2019.
- Reactivating deep wells – Maynilad has been reactivating existing deep wells within its concession area, using additional treatment technology to make the yield potable. This will add around 52 MLD by April 2020.
- Sustaining reduction of water losses – Maynilad inherited one of the oldest pipe networks in Asia, with some segments dating back to the Spanish times. After pouring millions worth of investments, the company has already replaced over 2,500 kilometers of old pipes and repaired more than 360,000 pipe leaks since 2008. These efforts result in supply recovery for distribution to customers. Recent intensified water loss reduction initiatives will enable Maynilad to plow back around 83 MLD additional supply to the network by summer 2020, and another 11 MLD by Q3 of 2020.
- Purchasing mobile treatment plants that will tap rivers in Cavite – Maynilad is exploring the deployment of modular water treatment plants that will extract raw water from Cavite rivers within the West Zone. This will yield around 13 MLD by April 2020, and another 14 MLD by July to August 2020.
- Deploying mobile and stationary water tankers (SWT) – Maynilad acquired a total of 69 mobile water tankers and 32 SWTs, which are being deployed to different areas within its West Zone concession.
- Conducting cloud-seeding operations – Maynilad is currently working with MWSS, Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), and Philippine Air Force (PAF) on the guidelines and schedule of the cloud-seeding operations.
So until when will the daily rotational water service interruptions end? It will be in effect for as long as the raw water allocation given to Maynilad from Angat Dam is below its requirement. And as per NWRB, reduced allocations will remain in effect until June 2020. Continuous monitoring of Angat and Ipo Dams are being done to check if the water levels improve enough to raise the allocation.
As responsible consumers, we should also take our part in conserving water. Here are some of the tips on how to conserve water :
- Brush your teeth using a glass of water.
- Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator overnight, not in running water.
- Use a basin in washing the dishes. Do not let the water run when washing the dishes.
- Take shorter shower or just use a pail and bath dipper/dipper. Tipid na sa tubig, tipid pa sa kuryente.
- Save laundry water for flushing the toilet and watering the plants.
- Buy a big container and store rainwater. This can be used for daily chores, or in case there’s a water shortage.
- Make a monthly schedule to check faucets and plumbing for leaks. Have a plumber fix any internal leaks found.
- If you see pipe leaks outside your home, report it to the Maynilad Hotline 1626 or via email : email@example.com.
Every drop of water is important. According to NWRB, if every one of 15 million Filipinos saves four liters of water a day, we can collectively save 60 million liters per day. Such water savings can go a long way in ensuring that water levels in Angat Dam will recover enough for NWRB to increase allocation for the MWSS.
Mrs.Enero – Angel Enero is a former IT System Administrator and now a full-time SAHM to her #littleEneros. She’s a domesticated / hands-on mom who loves baking and gardening.
MRSENERODIARIES blog is a online diary of Angel Enero. Formerly a travel blogger and now a lifestyle mommy blogger. Blogging about EAT. PRAY. LOVE. TRAVEL.