Manila Water gears up for looming El Niño to ensure 24/7 water supply
MANILA, Philippines — When the heat is on, water is in high demand.
Following the official declaration of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on the warmer and drier season ahead, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. recently admitted that the Philippines is experiencing a water crisis.
Rising to the challenge, Manila Water – Metro Manila’s East Zone concessionaire – assures its customers that it will continue to provide uninterrupted, 24/7 water services as part of its commitment to deliver world-class services tailored to the needs of the communities it serves. This is through sustainable solutions, innovative facilities, and augmentation plans.
“All these form part of our initiatives toward water security. From day one, it has become our mission to ensure that our customers continue to receive 24/7 water services, especially during the summer season where demand normally spikes by 15% due to higher temperatures,” said Manila Water president and CEO Jocot de Dios.
Pagasa also announced the end of La Niña with an 80% probability of El Niño expected later this year – which poses another challenge.
“We are prepared for this and ready to fulfill our obligations. We continue to put our plans into motion to support MWSS’ call for continuous supply in our concession area as we face challenging weather forecasts in the coming months,” de Dios added.
In place: Sustainable solutions, innovative facilities, augmentation plans
Manila Water has put in place its water supply contingency and augmentation plans while working and coordinating closely with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to help ensure that customers will experience continuous water supply even during peak demand periods.
These contingencies include the maximization of the 100 million-liter-per-day (MLD) capacity of the Cardona Water Treatment Plant, which draws water from the central portion of Laguna Lake; operation of standby deep wells, which can provide an additional 115 MLD; and operation of the 15 to 20 MLD Marikina Portable Water Treatment Plant, which will draw and can treat water from the Marikina River.
De Dios also affirmed that Manila Water continues to support and work with MWSS for the development and implementation of short- to long-term projects to ensure the sustainability of future water supply, which include the Calawis Antipolo Water Source System and the East Bay Water Supply Project which will source water from the eastern flank of Laguna Lake.
Other projects being eyed as medium-to-long-term water sources aside from harnessing Laguna Lake include the New Wawa Dam Project in Rizal Province, the Kaliwa Dam Project, and the Kaliwa River Project that will harness water from Kaliwa River downstream of Quezon Province.
Furthermore, the MWSS project for constructing the new 15-kilometer aqueduct and 6.4-kilometer tunnel has been completed to ensure that 1,600 MLD of water will flow towards La Mesa Dam – optimizing the flow of excess water from Ipo to La Mesa Dam.
Manila Water is also focused on rolling out its service improvement plan that highlights four sustainability pillars necessary to ensure the environment’s viability which sustains the water cycle, and on which the company establishes its long-term viability.
These pillars are Water Security, to ensure the adequacy of water resources for current and future customers; Service Accessibility, to expand service coverage to more communities in the East Zone; Service Continuity, to ensure that customers continue to receive high-quality service even in the event of natural or even man-made calamities; and Environmental Sustainability, to safeguard the sustainability of the environment that supports the East Zone through various wastewater programs.