The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) on Friday raised the water allocation of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) from the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system until the middle of April.
In a statement, the NWRB said it decided to raise to 50 cubic meters per second (CMS) the share of MWSS from the current 48 CMS.
This is to “allow the La Mesa and Ipo dams to recover at a comfortable level and support the water supply for Metro Manila.”
“This resolution is to allow the Board to continuously review the effect of the requested allocation in the water supply from the Angat dam, especially in the light of the looming El Niño phenomenon,” the NWRB said.
The Water Board’s decision came after water concessionaires Manila Water and Maynilad asked for an increase in their water allocation to 52 CMS.
“In preparation for the looming El Niño, the NWRB will continue to carefully manage its water releases to brace for the impacts of this phenomenon and maintain the water supply throughout the year,” the agency said.
“It assures the public that sufficient water will be supplied from the Angat dam for the summer months,” it said.
In a separate statement, Maynilad said that at 50 CMS it expects that raw water flowing to the Novaliches Portal in Quezon City will still be at reduced levels.
“Given this, the current daily water service interruptions will remain in place, but the interruption schedules to be implemented starting April 1, 2023 have been adjusted to account for the full suspension of the cross-portal sharing arrangement between Maynilad and Manila Water,” Maynilad said.
On Wednesday, the west zone concessionaire said its customers will experience longer daily service interruptions starting next week, as its cross-portal arrangement with Manila Water Company Inc. will no longer be extended.
Maynilad has already been implementing water service interruptions in its service area, in a bid to prepare for the looming effects of the El Niño phenomenon or below-normal rainfall expected in June.
Sought for comment on the NWRB’s decision, Manila Water said it “will continue to sustain the 24/7 uninterrupted service to our customers within the East Zone as we ready our augmentation programs and additional water sources to meet the demand during this summer.”
According to PAGASA, the country is experiencing a neutral weather conditions and is likely to transition to El Niño in the second semester.
“The technical working group is readying its El Niño contingency measures including the recovery of non-revenue water (NRW), activation of deep wells, maximized use of water treatment plants, implementation of the early wet cropping season, and standby cloud seeding operations,” the NWRB said.
“NWRB appeals to the public to employ water-saving practices to help in maintaining the steady water supply from the reservoir. It is also encouraged to use alternative water sources and harvest rainwater appropriately,” it said.
Maynilad, meanwhile, advised customers to remember their assigned interruption schedule in their area so they can store water in advance.
The west zone concessionaire also said it is facilitating its supply augmentation measures, which include the reactivation of deep wells and commissioning of modular treatment plants to produce more water from alternate sources, and the continued repair of pipe leaks and replacement of old pipelines to recover more water for distribution.
“The company is also making available around 100 mobile water tankers for deployment, as needed. It has installed 83 stationary water tanks (SWT) in strategic locations, and is purchasing more SWTs for additional water storage,” Maynilad said.
“We also continue to work with the MWSS and Manila Water to fast-track projects that will arrest losses along the aqueducts so that the flow of raw water supply to the Novaliches Portal will improve,” it said. —NB, GMA Integrated News