Despite the persistence of COVID-19 pandemic, which has been causing an increase in water consumption, government authorities and utility firms are confident that there will be no water crisis in the coming months, especially in summer.
“We can assure of sufficient water supply for summer this year,” Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Administrator Emmanuel Salamat said in a text exchange.
This is because of the high level of water in Angat Dam, which is almost 9 meters higher than last year, he said.
The 54-year old Angat Dam currently releases 4,000 million liters of water per day (mld), supplying 97 percent of Metro Manila’s water needs.
Of this, Maynilad Water Services Inc. gets an allocation of about 2,400 mld. Manila Water Company, Inc., on the other hand, gets the remaining 1,600 mld, which is on top of the supply it receives from La Mesa Dam.
As of January 6, the level of water in Angat Dam stood at 213.13 meters, which is way above its critical level of 160 meters and just slightly below its spilling level of 217 meters.
In a separate text exchange, Jennifer Rufo, head of corporate communications at Maynilad, cited Angat Dam’s “desired year-end level” as a result of the series of typhoons that happened in the latter part of 2020.
“Given this, we have enough stored raw water to sustain our needs throughout the summer months of 2021,” Rufo said.
Nevertheless, Rufo advised Maynilad customers to still use water responsibly, as doing so will help to prolong the availability of stored water in Angat Dam.
Jeric Sevilla, Manila Water’s Head for Corporate Strategic Affairs Group, said the level of water in Angat gives the east zone concessionaire “a sense of security going into summer.”
But, he said the listed Ayala-led firm has remained vigilant and “continues to coordinate with MWSS to develop medium-term or interim water sources.”
“At the end of 2020, we were able to rehabilitate deep wells that could supply us additional 100 mld if ever we will need it. Rehabilitation works in our facilities are also on-going. We are looking at all the possible additional sources of water just so we can get through this coming summer,” Sevilla further said.
Manila Water caters to the East Zone concession area covering the Cities of Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Pateros, San Juan, Taguig, and Marikina. It is also in charge of the southeastern parts of Quezon City, and Sta. Ana and San Andres in Manila.
In the province of Rizal, Manila Water services the City of Antipolo and Municipalities of San Mateo, Rodriguez, Cainta, Taytay, Teresa, Angono, Baras, Binangonan, and Jala-jala.
The other concessionaire Maynilad provides water and wastewater services to residents in most parts of Manila; northern and western parts of Quezon City; western parts of Makati; and the Cities of Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Valenzuela, Muntinlupa, Navotas, and Malabon in Metro Manila.
It also serves the Municipalities of Meycauayan and Obando in the Province of Bulacan; and the Cities of Cavite, Bacoor and Imus, and Municipalities of Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario in the Province of Cavite.