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Manila Water: Brace for service interruptions as La Mesa Dam hits critical level

/ 10:20 AM May 10, 2018
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La Mesa Dam. (File photo by JOAN BONDOC / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Water concessionaire Manila Water warned on Thursday of possible service interruptions after La Mesa Dam’s water level dropped to a critical low of 72 meters.

“Baka magkaroon talaga ng water interruption, baka ‘yong non-peak hours, baka mawalan ng tubig.  Ayaw nating umabot sa gano’n, kaya inihahanda natin ‘yong mga deep wells na hindi natin ginagamit dati, naka-stand by yan,” Manila Water Corporate Communications Head Jeric Sevilla said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.

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“Ang karinawan na level na mine-maintain natin dito ay nasa 78 or 79 meters, pero sa kasalukuyan ang level natin ay medyo 72 meters,” Sevilla added.

Sevilla said that if the trend continues, and if consumers fail to conserve water, water interruptions may initially affect the East La Mesa treatment plant, which covers consumers from elevated areas such as Marikina, Montalban, and San Mateo

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To ensure continued services, Manila Water has reduced water pressure in these areas.  But should water shortage continue, other areas far from the La Mesa Dam such as Pasig and Taguig will also experience interruptions.

“Kaunti na ang pumapasok na tubig sa (East La Mesa) treatment plant.  Meron pa silang tubig 24/7 pero mas mahina na ang pressure kumpara sa natatanggap nila,” Sevilla said.

Manila Water services 6.8 million residents in Metro Manila’s east zone, or about a million service connections.  Most of these connections rely on water from La Mesa Dam reservoir.

Water conservation

Sevilla mentioned that water conservation is a “two-pronged” affair between the water concessionaire and customers.  He also noted that La Mesa Dam’s current level is five meters lower than last year’s mark — which also makes it below the operating level.

“Talagang shared responsibility ito na dapat from their (customers) side as well, dapat mas gamitin ng tama (ang tubig),” he added.

Sevilla also added that while Angat Dam’s level remains normal, the demand is really high, not only from Manila Water, but from its competitor as well.

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“’Yong supply na nakukuha natin mula sa Angat (Dam) na 1,600 million liters per day, ngayon ang production natin medyo sobra na ‘don eh.  Mas malaki ang demand ngayon kumpara dati, idagdag pa natin ang temperature ngayon medyo mataas, tapos wala pa tayo sa tag-ulan,” Sevilla said.

“It is just that yong supply natin, minamaximize natin, hindi lang sa manila water, pati rin sa kabila, talagang napakataas na ng demand,” he added. /muf

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TAGS: critical water level, La Mesa Dam, Manila Water, Water Conservation
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