Makati City Representative Luis Campos Jr. wants Laguna Lake harnessed extensively to assure Metro Manila’s long-term water security.
“We have to take full advantage of Laguna Lake’s largely untapped water resources. There are modern technologies available to rigorously clean the vast amounts of water that may be sustainably recycled from the lake,” Campos said.
Campos, a member of the House committee on Metro Manila development, noted that 2.2 billion cubic meters of water naturally deposited in the 90,000-hectare lake is a mix of water from dozens of rivers and streams, rainwater, storm water runoff and sewage.
He said the National Capital Region (NCR) should diversify its water sources amid rapid consumption growth and recurring dry spells because of climate change.
“The reprocessing of Laguna Lake’s water supply will also help lessen flooding, which is a persistent problem in surrounding communities,” he added, saying the lake tends to overflow during heavy rains, causing floods in parts of Laguna, Rizal and eastern Metro Manila.
“By reusing water from the lake, Metro Manila’s private water concessionaires will also achieve in one action their dual obligations to deliver round-the-clock water supply to consumers and to provide wastewater treatment facilities,” he said, referring to Manila Water Co. Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc.
He said the two concessionaires, for years, have been relying on Angat Dam in Bulacan to supply 96 percent of Metro Manila’s water demand.
“We recognize that decontaminating water from Laguna Lake is more costly than treating water from Angat, but the concessionaires really have no choice but to expand their sources if we are to avoid another water crisis,” Campos said.
“We need multiple water treatment facilities drawing off Laguna Lake,” he pointed out.
In the 2019 Metro Manila water crisis, consumers reeled from prolonged daily water service interruptions after a severe dry spell caused Angat’s water level to plunge 52 meters below its 210-meter normal high elevation.