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Manila Water sees shortage easing in April

Additional supply expected from Maynilad’s Muntinlupa plant, Cardona facility

RECORD LOW La Mesa Dam’s water level dropped to 68.74 meters on Thursday, its lowest since 1998 when it hit 68.75 meters, according to Pagasa hydrologist Sonia Serrano. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

As the water level at La Mesa Dam dropped to its lowest in 21 years on Thursday, Manila Water Co. Inc. said it expected the shortage to ease next month with the arrival of an additional supply from Maynilad Water Services Inc.’s Putatan water treatment plant in Muntinlupa City and its own facility in Cardona, Rizal province.

Both are expected to provide a combined 100 million liters a day (MLD) of potable water or around 60 percent of Manila Water’s supply deficit.

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Company officials said that on average, customer demand was 140 MLD more than the available supply. The deficit, however, could hit nearly 200 MLD at peak hours.

Maynilad president and chief executive Ramoncito S. Fernandez said his company was preparing to share up to 50 MLD to Manila Water.

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Maynilad’s 2 conditions

“We will be able to do this cross-bordering sharing if two conditions are met,” Fernandez said.

“First, Maynilad need to do some minor piping works through which we will convey supply to Manila Water. Second, Maynilad must operate our second plant in Putatan, which is expected to start no earlier than April.”

The P6.75-billion facility is Maynilad’s second plant in Putatan that will draw raw water from Laguna de Bay.

With a processing capacity of 150 MLD, it was originally expected to be completed in May 2018 to boost water supply to customers in Muntinlupa, Las Piñas and Cavite province.

Fernandez said that Maynilad would share its supply with Manila Water “carefully, in a manner that would not affect services to our own customers.”

Maynilad and Manila Water made the same arrangement in 2010 and 2015 during strong occurrences of El Niño. In both cases, it was Manila Water that shared its surplus supply with Maynilad.

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Manila Water also expects to get an additional supply of as much as 50 MLD from its Cardona facility by April.

The 100-MLD Cardona plant which also draws raw water from Laguna de Bay is expected to be running at full capacity by August.

21-year low

Sonia Serrano, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) hydrologist, said that based on the agency’s monitoring on Thursday, La Mesa Dam’s water level of 68.74 meters was the lowest since 1998, when it fell to 68.75 meters.

In contrast, Angat Dam in Bulacan province, which supplies most of Metro Manila’s water needs, still has a healthy water level, Pagasa said. —WITH A REPORT FROM PATRICIA DENISE M. CHIU

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TAGS: Angat Dam, hydrologist, La Mesa Dam, Manila Water, Maynilad Water Services, Metro Manila, Muntinlupa, Pagasa, Rizal, water shortage
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