MWSS downplays fears of water shortage in 2021

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Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has downplayed the alarm sounded off by one of its water concessionaire that the Philippine capital is likely to experience water shortage if alternative sources are not built in the next three years.

In a statement on Friday, MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velasco has reassured consumers that there would be adequate supply of potable water in the coming years and that shortage would not take place before the end of the Duterte administration’s term in 2022.

“There is no looming water shortage and we will always uphold the best interest of the people,” he said.

Mr. Velasco was reacting to concerns raised by Manila Water Co., Inc. that the water from Angat dam for Metro Manila’s east zone at 1,600 million liters per day (MLD) is inadequate to meet existing demand of 1,650 MLD.

Geodino V. Carpio, Manila Water chief operating officer, told reporters on Wednesday that the company is filling the existing deficiency with supply from La Mesa dam, which he said was not meant for impounding water for distribution.


Mr. Carpio said Manila Water’s new water system in Cardona, Rizal province will add 100 MLD by year end, but it is good to meet the increase in demand in the next two years, or until 2021 if “stretched.”

A proposed project in Laguna Lake that can supply 250 MLD is up for MWSS approval. It can meet demand until 2023, when the Kaliwa dam in Quezon province is targeted to be completed.

Mr. Velasco said under the Duterte administration, MWSS is on a “catch up mode in terms of creating new water sources following more than 30 years of not developing major water supply projects to address the growing demand in Metro Manila due to population growth and development.”

But more than two years into its term, the administration has yet to close the financing for Kaliwa dam, which is expected to provide 650 MLD, of which about half will be allocated to Manila Water. — Victor V. Saulon