MORE than half a million customers of Maynilad Water Services, Inc. will experience daily water interruptions indefinitely as water levels at Angat Dam, Metro Manila’s main water source, continue to decline.

Maynilad, which services the capital’s west zone, will subject users to nine hours of water interruptions daily starting on Wednesday until further notice. The service disruptions run from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Affected areas are Caloocan, Malabon, Valenzuela, Navotas, part of Quezon City, and Manila, Ronald C. Padua, head of Maynilad’s water supply operations, said in a briefing on Monday.

Mr. Padua said about 591,000 accounts are expected to experience water supply interruptions with water levels continuing to fall in Angat Dam in Bulacan.

As of 6 a.m. on Monday, the water level in Angat Dam dropped to 179.23 meters from 179.56 meters a day earlier. The dam requires 180 meters of water to be considered at normal operating levels.

The dwindling water at the dam resulted in a reduced water allocation to Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to 48 cubic meters per second (CMS) from 50 CMS.

Manila Water Co., Inc. which serves Metro Manila’s east zone, said it does not expect interruptions in its services.

Dittie L. Galang, head of Manila Water’s corporate communications, said the reduction in water allocation from Angat will have no impact on its supply.

“Our augmentation sources are still sufficient to fill the deficit from the lower allocation,” Ms. Galang said.

Maynilad’s Mr. Padua said the lower allocation will decrease the water reaching the La Mesa portal.

Last week, the government weather service, known as PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration), declared the onset of El Niño, which is expected to bring dry spells and droughts. 

The National Water Resources Board’s decision to cut the MWSS allocation is intended to preserve the water supply with El Niño rendering the dams unable to replenish.

Mr. Padua also said that Maynilad also supports the MWSS position that local government units regulate businesses that consume large volumes of water, such as car washes, pools, and golf courses.

Maynilad added that it expects the southwest monsoon running until September to mitigate the shortages, with some of Maynilad’s augmentation measures coming online within the year, Mr. Padua said.

Maynilad, a concessionaire of the MWSS, serves the cities of Manila, except portions of San Andres and Sta. Ana. It also operates in Quezon City, Makati, Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas, and Malabon.

It serves the cities of Cavite, Bacoor, and Imus, and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario in Cavite province.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which has a majority stake in Maynilad, is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Ashley Erika O. Jose