Amid concessions review, MM at risk of water shortage

    Rising demand. Taps may run dry if Metro Manila will not have a new water source.
    Rising demand. Taps may run dry if Metro Manila will not have a new water source.

    Metro Manila is at risk of water shortage this summer.

    Experts have said that for the Metro Manila concessions to have a comfortable level of water availability by summer, Angat Dam should have ended 2019 with an ideal water level of 210 to 212 meters.

    But based on available data from the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), as of Dec. 20, 2019, Angat Dam had an elevation level of 197.84 meters. This improved to 202.72 meters as of January 2.

    The concessionaires Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co. Inc. have long been urging the government to develop new water sources as Angat Dam may soon unable to meet the growing water demand in Metro Manila.

    President Duterte last week issued a stern warning to parties that will attempt to delay the construction of the Wawa and Kaliwa dams which he described as “last resort” to beef up water supply.

    Duterte also assured compensation and relocation to those affected by the construction of the dams.

    There are 56 households of indigenous people directly affected by the construction. Another 284 tribal households will be at risk of flooding.

    The Kaliwa Dam will be constructed in the towns of Teresa and Tanay in Rizal province and in General Nakar and Infanta in Quezon. The project entails the development of a 60-meter tall dam with a riverbed elevation of 100 meters, a reservoir surface area of 291 hectares and a full supply level volume of 57 million cubic meters.

    Kaliwa Dam costs P12.2 billion , of which 85 percent will be funded by China via official development assistance and the remaining 15 percent by the Philippine government.

    The Wawa Bulk Water Supply Project in Rizal of Wawa JV Co., the joint venture between Enrique Razon’s Prime Infra and businessman Oscar Violago’s San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders Group, aims to supply 80 million liters per day (MLD) of water in 2021 and over 500 MLD by 2025. – J. Macapagal