Manila Water bares plans to mitigate effects of El Niño in non-East Zone
As El Niño is expected to affect the whole of the Philippines and bring less rain until next year, Manila Water, through its operating subsidiary Manila Water Philippine Ventures, bares its plans to ensure continuity of water supply in its service areas outside Metro Manila.
Currently, the water firm has operating units in several cities and provinces across the country: Metro Ilagan Water, Calasiao Water, North Luzon Water, Clark Water, Bulakan Water, Obando Water, Laguna Water, and South Luzon Water in Luzon; Boracay Water, Calbayog Water, and Cebu Water in Visayas; and Tagum Water in Mindanao.
A division of Manila Water Philippine Ventures, Estate Water Group, provides water supply operations and wastewater services for private properties in different parts of the country in partnership with various property developers.
Each business unit developed its own El Niño mitigation plan tailored to its sources, operational needs and obligations, and customer demand based on historical El Niño effects on their respective service areas.
The core of each plan, however, centers on implementing, developing, and energizing alternative water sources. Other capital expenditure programs that would ensure the operation of standby deep wells, such as managing pressure and adjusting variable frequency drive; regular facilities maintenance works for pumps, tanks, and generator sets; and the operation of line boosters, are also being implemented.
Manila Water has been working extensively to prepare its operations even before the onset of El Niño through the implementation of its Non-Revenue Water recovery program; water supply and network projects; regular maintenance and monitoring of deep wells; installation of line boosters; continuous water supply, pressure, network, and intake management; water tanker maintenance; and procurement of spare materials for network and facility management.
The water company has also closely coordinated with bulk water suppliers for possible supply procurement in worst-case scenarios.
Laguna Water, one of Manila Water’s largest business units in the non-East Zone, has started stocking up critical spare parts such as pumps, motors, and electrical spares and has been working since January 2023 to reduce its NRW from 30% to 20%. As of May, the business unit’s NRW is at 28%.
Meanwhile, Boracay Water, a Manila Water subsidiary tapped to provide water supply and wastewater services for Boracay Island, will install a surface water level indicator at the Nabaoy River, the lone water source of Boracay Island, for the regular monitoring of the river’s condition and water elevation.
Boracay Water is also set to implement pipe replacement projects in the towns of Yapak and Balabag in the next few months, designed to recover 1.8MLD of non-revenue water by November.
Manila Water is preparing for an assumed 10% water supply reduction during the El Niño period, projected to last until early 2024.
As El Niño is expected to bring disruptions in local weather patterns and surging temperatures, causing dry spells, droughts, and depletion of water in water sources, and at the same time, an increase in demand for domestic, industrial, and agricultural use, Manila Water reiterates its call to its customers and the public for the responsible and sustainable use of water.
“We would like to restate our calls for the responsible use of water, not just in the East Zone of Metro Manila but to all Filipinos in each part of the country. As water is an inevitable essential in our daily lives, we are also aware of the limitations of our water resources, especially during this period of El Niño. While we, in Manila Water, commit to do our best in using our water resources efficiently, but to ensure that the supply will be enough for all, everybody should do their own share of conserving water.” says Melvin John Tan, Chief Operating Officer for Manila Water non-East Zone.