MANILA WATER Co., Inc. said on Wednesday that it had put in place starting this month a water supply contingency plan in light of the ongoing mild El Niño that is causing below-normal rainfall.
At the same time, Metro Manila’s east zone water concessionaire called on its customers to use water “more responsibly and wisely.”
In a statement, the company said it would implement operation adjustments to better manage its water supply during the El Niño months. It said the dry spell is threatening water levels at La Mesa Dam at a time when water demand is steadily rising because of population increase and rapid economic growth.
“We encourage everyone to treat water as the valuable resource that it is by using it wisely,” said Nestor Jeric T. Sevilla, Jr., Manila Water group head for corporate strategic affairs and head for corporate communications, in a statement.
Manila Water quoted the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration as saying that the weather phenomenon began in the last quarter of 2018, with Metro Manila potentially experiencing drought conditions from April to June 2019.
The Ayala-led listed company provided several tips on how to use water responsibly:
• Always make sure that taps/faucets are tightly closed.
• Regularly check leaks and have it repaired immediately.
• Recycle water. For example, collect water used to wash dishes and reuse for flushing the toilet.
• When doing laundry by hand, soak heavily soiled clothes first to remove dirt easily. Use a basin or wash tub with the right amount of water. Don’t let the basin overflow under a running tap.
• When doing the laundry by washing machine, wash with a full load only every other day. Use the necessary amount of detergent so that less rinsing is required.
• When bathing, use a pail and dipper instead of the shower.
• Turn off tap while washing, shaving or brushing teeth. Use a glass of water for gargling.
• Instead of using running water, fill a basin or half of the sink with water to soak, soap, and rinse dishes or to clean fruits/ vegetables.
• Do not thaw frozen food under a running tap. Bring out frozen food early enough to thaw at room temperature before cooking.
• Water plants, garden, or lawn during cool parts of the day like early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
• When washing the car, use a pail not a water hose, and a cotton rag instead of a sponge.
• Report leaks, illegal connections, defective meters and unauthorized withdrawal of water from fire hydrants to Manila Water. — Victor V. Saulon