Maynilad, Manila Water urged to gear up for water crisis
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila’s water service providers should brace for the worst effects of the El Niño phenomenon and avert a repeat of the 2019 crisis.
Quezon City Rep. Marvin Rillo on Sunday called on Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co. to prepare for El Niño, which could potentially put Metro Manila and neighboring provinces at risk of a severe water shortage.
“We do not want a repeat of the 2019 water crisis, so we would urge the two water concessionaires to prepare this early for the worst, should we have a full-scale El Niño event in the months ahead,” said Rillo, vice chairperson of the House committee on Metro Manila development.
“Our worry is that even if the forthcoming El Niño would be less harsh than what we experienced in 2019, Metro Manila might still be vulnerable to a severe water scarcity simply because demand has since increased,” he said.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services had said that El Niño would “likely develop in the July-August-September season and may persist until 2024.”
The 2019 El Niño phenomenon caused Angat Dam’s water level to plunge to record lows, causing a water shortage in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Up to 61 percent of the country suffered a drought where there were three consecutive months of over 60 percent less rainfall.
While Angat supplies 90 percent of Metro Manila’s potable water and irrigates 25,000 hectares of farmland in Central Luzon, its water level dropped this month to 201 meters from 214 meters in December 2022.