power and water

Maynilad loses 40% of water due to leaks, illegal connections

James Patrick Cruz

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Maynilad loses 40% of water due to leaks, illegal connections

Residents fetch water from a community water well to wash clothes, bathe and for household use, in Barangay Old Capitol in Quezon City on March 21, 2023. Some residents rely on water refilling stations for drinking water as access to safe drinking water from taps are sometimes compromised due to the congested and exposed water lines and pipes in the community. On the eve of World Water Day, action needs to taken to address the global water crisis of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

One of the challenges hounding water concessionaires in repairing leaks is the tedious process of securing permits from local governments, Maynilad chief operating officer Randolph Estrellado says

MANILA, Philippines – Around 1,105 million liters of water every day goes down the drain due to leaks or illegal connections, Maynilad Water Services, Incorporated said on Wednesday, May 17.

This loss is 40% of the 2,695 million liters of water allocated to Maynilad from the Angat Dam.

During a hearing Wednesday of the House committee on Metro Manila development on the alleged water depletion in the National Capital Region, Manila Representative Rolando Valeriano expressed alarm over the amount of wastage, saying that “this is not a joke.”

The previous amount of water loss was even higher before DMCI-MPIC Water Company took over the water concession, Maynilad chief operating officer Randolph Estrellado said.

Old water pipes

He noted that from 1997 until 2006 the previous owner hardly did any repairs to the pipelines.

He said that 75% of the pipes they inherited in 2006 were replaced which caused a significant reduction in water loss. This upgrade caused them P21.7 billion.

While he recognized the reduction in the amount of wasted water, Maynilad’s chief said that a huge amount was still being wasted.

Yung dating 68% na non-revenue water naibaba na namin siya to 40%, pero ho ang nawawala pa rin is mataas pa rin pero malaki pa rin yung nabawas na,” he said.

(We have already reduced the previous 68% non-revenue water to 40%. However, there is still a significant remaining portion that needs to be addressed, although a substantial reduction has already been achieved.)

Processing of permits impedes immediate repair

One of the challenges hounding water concessionaires in repairing leaks is the tedious process of securing permits from local governments, Estrellado said.

Visible leaks can be addressed immediately as acquiring a permit is swifter, however, leaks that are not visible in the street take them a while to repair, he said.

“It takes us 60 days before we can acquire a permit from the LGU,” Estrellado said.

“At the moment, we have around 21 locations where our permits to repair leaks are still pending. That is the issue we are currently facing,” he said. – Rappler.com

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James Patrick Cruz

Patrick Cruz is a researcher and writer for Rappler’s governance cluster. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, he covered local governments focusing on Metro Manila.