Consumer demand for water bigger than supply since 2016
Manila Water Co. Inc. on Tuesday said that the prevailing water shortage was due to the yearly hike in consumer demand despite the fact that its allocation of raw water from Angat Dam had remained the same.
Geodino Carpio, Manila Water chief operating officer, told reporters that while the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) had allowed the company to draw 1.6 billion liters every day — or 1,600 million liters daily (MLD) — from Angat, its customers were now using an average of 1,740 MLD.
“Demand has been increasing yearly since we started with the concession 21 years ago,” Carpio said, adding: “In 2016, demand surpassed the volume of our daily allocation from Angat.”
He explained that demand from Manila Water customers had gone up by around three percent yearly. In terms of volume, this translated to between 40 MLD and 50 MLD.
La Mesa Dam’s own store of raw water — that which does not come from Angat via tunnels and aqueducts — provides Manila Water a buffer stock, but this amounts to only 50 MLD.
“And even if the NWRB would increase our supply of raw water from Angat, the existing conveyance could transmit only 1,600 MLD,” Carpio said.
Currently, there are three pipes and six aqueducts that transport water from Angat to La Mesa.
“They are building a fourth tunnel but that won’t be available until next year,” Carpio said.
Cardona project underway
As part of efforts to keep up with rising demand, Manila Water has been building the Rizal Province Water Improvement Project in Cardona town.
The Cardona project is designed to draw 100 MLD of raw water from Laguna de Bay. It was supposed to have started operation in December but the contractor encountered delays caused by an unexpected rock formation under the project site as well as “inadequate design of the discharge pipe.”
“We are working on operating the Cardona project this week initially at 31 MLD, which we hope to raise to 50 MLD by the end of the month,” Carpio said. “We expect to have the full 100 MLD by around August.”
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