MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said it wants to keep deep wells in Metro Manila open even after the water shortage is over.
MWSS Chairman Reynaldo Velasco said in a briefing on Wednesday, July 3, that they will ask the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), which allowed the use of some deep wells in Metro Manila, to consider this proposal.
“Kahit hindi natin kailangan, ituloy ang energizing, ang testing…. Lahat ng mga wells na inapprove ni [NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr] na gamitin, buksan natin lahat ‘yan,” Velasco said.
(Even if we don’t need it, we have to continue energizing and testing the groundwater…. All of the wells that were approved for use should remain open.)
“Para malaman kung meron pang tubig o may tubig pero mahirap na i-treat for consumption. Para pagdating ng pangangailangan, malalaman namin kung ano ang bubuksan,” he added.
(This is so we’ll know if there’s still water left or if the remaining water would be difficult to treat for consumption. In times of need, we’ll know which deep wells we can open.)
This would also be a way for the MWSS to prepare for the Big One, or a powerful earthquake, not just in the case of a water shortage or El Niño, the MWSS chief noted.
The use of deep wells was prohibited in Metro Manila as these could cause sinkholes. But the NWRB allowed the reopening of deep wells after Manila Water ran low on supply in early 2019.
Some deep wells are still being used as the Angat Dam stays below the minimum operating water level of 180 meters. Velasco said they want to keep the water supply from the La Mesa Dam untouched as it serves as a reserve.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources earlier said it will allow the use of deep wells until October 2019. – Rappler.com