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Water interruption may affect over 632K households in Metro Manila —MWSS

At least 632,000 Metro Manila households may be affected by water service interruptions due to low allocation and lack of rain in watersheds, according to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on Tuesday.

This comes after the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) reduced Metro Manila's water allocation from Angat Dam to 50 cubic meters per second (cms) and the low level of accumulated rainfall in the watershed. 

“Ang nakikita po natin ay magkakaroon ng interruption just in case na hindi po natin experience yung ulan, ay around 632,000 na customers ng Maynilad ang apektado,” MWSS Division Manager Site Operations Management Engineer Patrick Dizon said at a public briefing.

(We see that there will be an interruption just in case we don't experience the rain, around 632,000 Maynilad customers may be affected.)

According to MWSS, service interruptions may last up to 10 hours.

"Nakafocus ito sa gabi around 10 or midnight, kung saan ang demand ng water ay mababa," Dizon added.

(It is focused at night around 10 or midnight, when the water demand is low.)

He noted that this is less than the 1.5 million affected residents during the water interruptions last April.

Dizon also said that the implemented augmentation measures, such as deep well rehabilitation, modular water treatment plant, and recovery of water losses, helped ease the water situation.

"This is in preparation na rin po sa nalalapit sa El Nino. We don’t want din po na magkaroon po ng high impact ng water interruption sa ating mga customers pagdating ng El Nino,” he said.

Angat dam

Meanwhile, the water level in Angat Dam on Monday hit 181.53 meters, close to its minimum operating level of 180 meters. 

“So the priority will be the domestic water supply, we’re seeing po yug projection po ng PAGASA kung magkakaroon ng intensive na ulan para makatulong sa pag-angat ng ating reservation po,” Dizon added.

(So the priority will be the domestic water supply, we're seeing PAGASA's projection if there will be intensive rain to help raise the water level of our reserves.)

MWSS, however, vowed that they have ongoing augmentation measures with Maynilad and Manila Water to augment consumer needs and help address El Nino.

“Ang pangako po natin sa NWRB ay by December nasa 100 million liters yung marerecover po natin pero sa ngayon, middle of the year, nakarecover na po tayo ng 38 million liters per day,” he added.

(Our promise to the NWRB is that by December, we will recover 100 million liters, but right now, in the middle of the year, we have recovered 38 million liters per day.)

Earlier today, PAGASA declared the start of El Niño.

PAGASA also said the current El Niño is "weak" but shows signs of strengthening in the coming months.

The El Niño phenomenon is characterized by the abnormal warming of sea surface temperature in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean and below normal rainfall.

On June 28, NWRB  granted the request of the MWSS for an allocation of 50 cubic meters per second (cms), still above the normal 48 cms allocation, from the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system for July. —VAL, GMA Integrated News