Manila Water narrows supply gap

MANILA, Philippines – East Zone concessionaire Manila Water said it has "nearly completed" its efforts to lessen its water supply deficit, a problem the company has been grappling with since March 2019.

Manila Water said on Wednesday, July 10, that the deficit is down to 159 million liters per day (MLD), coming from almost 350 MLD in late June. When the crisis started back in March, it was at 150 MLD.

The company said it began to draw more supply from its Cardona Water Treatment Plant in Rizal as well as from deep wells to reduce the deficit.

Manila Water's Cardona plant already generates up to 63 MLD per day as of July 7, while the deep wells supply some 58 MLD.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) earlier allowed the opening of deep wells, but only up to October 2019.

The company also said it has further reduced its system loss or non-revenue water (NRW) from the 12% average to 7.5% as of June. The NRW is the water supply generated that is lost before it reaches the concessionaire's clients.

Manila Water chief operating officer Abelardo Basilio said the reduced NRW translates to almost 70 MLD added to their supply.

"While we have increased our efficiencies and the technical solutions we have put in place are ensuring we are able to distribute the still-limited supply as equitably as we can, we cannot rest and let our guard down," he added.

"The water supply situation remains volatile and continues to change day to day as Angat, Ipo, and La Mesa dams remain in sub-ideal levels."

The NWRB has been reducing the allocation for Manila Water and Maynilad Water Services since the Angat Dam's water level dropped below 180 meters. (READ: Manila Water, Maynilad to still get limited supply from Angat Dam)

This led to water interruptions for customers of both concessionaires. (READ:  SCHEDULE: Manila Water interruptions for July 2019 and SCHEDULE: Maynilad water interruptions for July 2019)

Manila Water said it continues to work toward providing 24/7 supply to its customers, but only at a pressure of 7 pounds per square inch (psi). This much psi means the water can reach only up to the ground floor of an establishment. – Rappler.com