Metro folk told to conserve water, brace for lower pressure
MANILA, Philippines — Residents of Metro Manila, especially those staying in buildings and elevated areas will have to bear with water pressures of as low as 7 psi (pounds per square inch) until a new water source is found.
Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Chief Regulator Patrick Ty on Tuesday said that the decreased water pressure is in line with conservation efforts, since higher water pressure may lead to a bigger volume of wasted water.
“Bakit binabaan natin ang water pressure ng Manila Water? The reason is, the higher the water pressure, mas maraming non-revenue water, sayang,” Ty said in a press briefing.
“Binaba ‘yong pressure to 7 psi. There are some areas na hanggang sa second floor aabot, hindi natin pwedeng gawin na katulad dati sa Manila Water na 20 psi, aabot talaga sa fourth floor ‘yon but may chance na maraming nasasayang na tubig,” he added.
Currently, customers in the west zone concession area covered by Maynilad are already experiencing low water pressure.
In the east zone, however, this was only implemented by Manila Water early this year.
“Kailangan nating magtipid. Yan po ang isang reason why na-penalize ang Manila Water, was because January and February, we already informed them through this concession, and hindi po nila na-deduce. Kaya po sila na-penalize,” Ty explained.
With this measure, there is a chance that people living in medium to high rise condominiums would not be directly serviced.
“Paano po ‘yong mga taong naka-tira sa high-rise (areas)? Unfortunately we would have to do water tankering or water pumps kasi ‘pag nasa fifth floor, sixth floor, hindi na aabot,” Ty said.
“Sana po maintindihan nila na kailangan tayong lahat mag-sacrifice dahil we need to conserve water dahil alam po natin ang demand ng water sa Metro Manila is pataas nang pataas and until now wala po tayong nadedetermine na alternative water source, especially for Manila Water,” he added.
Early this year, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said that the China-funded Kaliwa Dam would solve water problems in Metro Manila.
However, this suggestion was met with opposition from certain groups, saying that the project — part of several Chinese loan-backed programs — is disadvantageous to the government.
Manila Water has vowed to do its best to fully restore normal operations before August.
“Of course we are trying our very best na before those months come, maayos na. But maybe let us just qualify, what is the regulatory standard? The regulatory standard is 24 by seven, at 7 psi. And 7 psi means ground level,” Manila Water Spokesperson Jeric Sevilla said.
“Baka mamaya the people are expecting na, even if you declare it, ‘okay we’re compliant already’ […] magrereklamo ‘yong mga nasa second floor or nasa third floor. So we just wanted to clarify na unang-una, ang hinihingi lang talaga ng Regulatory natin ay 7 psi, that’s what we are working on right now,” he added. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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