Water supply crunch feared

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    The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System-Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) warned of a possible water supply crunch in Metro Manila next year with no alternate source in sight.

    “But it (supply crunch) will not be as bad as the 2019 scenario. It will be managed and there is no need to panic… The worst case scenario is that there would be interruptions but not something that will last for an entire day.

    That is also the commitment of our two concessionaires,” said Patrick Ty, the regulatory body’s chief regulator.

    Ty led yesterday a public discussion on the impact of two proposed additional water sources to customers’ water bills. These are Manila Water’s East Bay water supply project and the AMA bulk water supply project that will both source from Laguna Lake.

    New sources. Until the larger dams are developed, two water supply projects are
    being pushed to augment supply.

    The East Bay project is estimated to cost P13.6 billion and will provide 250 million liters per day (MLD) of water while the AMA bulk water project will need around P3 billion to offer 50 MLD of water. These are intended to bridge the supply gap until large dams are completed.

    Cielito Establecida, MWSS-RO consultant, said the East Bay will lead to an increase in water rates of P1.19 per cubic meter (cu. m.) while the AMA bulk water project will push water rates up by P1.11 per cu. m. Both will be completed in 18 months.

    Ty said the projects are still under review and will undergo two more public consultations before the MWSS-RO can submit its recommendations to the MWSS Board.

    “We can target approval (of the projects) within the year. If the public will not be amenable to it, maybe we can look for another source but I think it will be more costly,”Ty said.

    “Dams are really the solution to our supply problem,” Ty said.

    One of the dams in development and which is intended to provide a longer-term solution to water supply of Metro Manila is the Kaliwa Dam in Teresa and Tanay towns in Rizal province and General Nakar and Infanta in Quezon province. Another is the Wawa bulk water supply project also in Rizal province of Wawa JV Co., the joint venture between Enrique Razon’s Prime Infra and businessman Oscar Violago’s San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders Group.