Filipino water firms ready supply projects ahead of El Niño

The plans include reactivating 45 deep wells as well as the commissioning of two modular treatment plants, which is estimated to improve reliability for 700,000 customers.

Jordeene B. Lagare

Jordeene B. Lagare

Philippine Daily Inquirer


April 28, 2023

MANILA – The two water concessionaires for Metro Manila and adjacent areas have lined up various undertakings to brace for the impact of the looming El Niño on the water supply.

In a statement on Thursday, West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. announced it would implement this year various supply projects expected to produce about 163 million liters per day (MLD) of additional water.

These include reactivating 45 deep wells across the West Zone, commissioning of two modular treatment plants in Cavite, and tapping of additional cross-border points with East Zone concessionaire Manila Water Co. Inc.

Maynilad is planning to construct an auxiliary filtration system at Putatan Water Treatment Plant and produce an initial 50 MLD from its new water treatment plant in Poblacion, Muntinlupa.

The additional supply to be generated from these projects will help to improve supply reliability for some 700,000 Maynilad customers in parts of Manila, Parañaque, Pasay, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas and Cavite.

“As these supply augmentation projects gradually come on stream over the course of the year, we should be able to generate more water supply for distribution to customers. This will cushion the impact of any supply constraints that may arise once the effects of El Niño are felt by the latter part of this year,” Maynilad president and CEO Ramoncito Fernandez said.

Maynilad is also expecting to recover more water for distribution through its nonrevenue management program that covers active leakage control, selective pipe replacements, and the closure of illegal connections, among other activities.

Demand spikes by 15%

For its part, Manila Water has outlined its plans to help ensure continuous water supply even during hours when the demand for water is at its highest.

The listed firm intends to maximize the 100 MLD capacity of its Cardona Water Treatment Plant, which sources raw water from Laguna Lake.

It will operate standby deep wells to deliver another 115 MLD and run the 15-to-20-MLD Marikina Portable Water Treatment Plant, which can draw and treat water from the Marikina River.

“All these form part of our initiatives toward water security. From day one, it has become our mission to ensure that our customers continue to receive 24/7 water services, especially during the summer season where demand normally spikes by 15 percent due to higher temperatures,” said Manila Water president and CEO J.V. Emmanuel de Dios.

Manila Water said the construction of the new 15-kilometer aqueduct and 6.4-km tunnel has been completed. This will ensure 1,600 MLD flow toward La Mesa Dam, optimizing the flow of excess water from Ipo to La Mesa Dam.

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