Water board OKs temporary water allocation hike

The National Water Resources Board has approved a slight water allocation increase for the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System within the first two weeks of April to maintain Metro Manila’s supply.

The Board allowed the release of 50 cubic meters per second allocation to MWSS from the current 48 cubic meters per second starting Saturday to 15 April.

The move will allow the La Mesa and Ipo dams to recover to a “comfortable level and support the water supply for Metro Manila.”

“The Board will also account for the water releases from the dam and the efforts in non-revenue water recovery,” it added.

The NWRB also noted a substantial water loss from the Bite basin to the La Mesa portal, resulting in a decreased water supply received by both concessionaires.

Maynilad interruption continues

Despite this recent decision by the Board, Maynilad Water Services, Inc. pointed out that the volume of raw water flowing to the Novaliches Portal in Quezon City will still be at reduced levels.

As such, the current daily water service interruptions will remain in place. However, the interruption schedules to be implemented starting Saturday have been adjusted to account for the full suspension of the cross-portal sharing arrangement between Maynilad and Manila Water.

Nonetheless, the NWRB committed to working closely with the MWSS and the water concessionaires to mitigate any crisis.

It also said it would continue to “carefully manage its water releases” to prepare for any adverse impact of the looming El Niño.

The weather bureau said the country would likely transition to El Niño in the second semester.

Beefing up for the dry months

The NWRB said a technical working group composed of water stakeholders is preparing its contingency measures for the dry months.

Initiatives include recovery of non-revenue water, activation of deep wells, maximized use of water treatment plants, implementation of the early wet cropping season, and standby cloud seeding operations.

As for Maynilad, it will continue facilitating supply augmentation measures, including the reactivation of deep wells and commissioning modular treatment plants to produce more water from alternate sources. It will also continue repairing pipe leaks and replacing old pipelines to recover more water for distribution.

The company is also making around 100 mobile water tankers available for deployment as needed. It has strategically installed 83 stationary water tanks and is purchasing more SWTs for additional water storage.

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