No water shortage this summer – Palace

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    THE Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has committed there would be sufficient water supply in Metro Manila especially during the summer period, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said yesterday.

    “We expect to have a sufficient supply of water this year in Metro Manila. Wala ho tayong water shortage dito sa Maynila (We expect to have a sufficient supply of water this year in Metro Manila. We will not have a water shortage in Manila),” Nograles said.

    In March 2019, Metro Manila and nearby areas suffered from water interruptions that resulted in President Duterte’s threats to fire MWSS officials and revoke the contracts of water concessionaires Manila Water and Maynilad.

    Nograles said MWSS chairman and administrator officer-in-charge Reynaldo Velasco has assured President Duterte during the Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Wednesday night that the 2019 water interruptions will not happen again.

    He said Velasco also reported on the government’s efforts to expedite infrastructure projects aimed at ensuring water security, particularly in the National Capital Region.

    These projects include the Long-Term Water Source Development for Metro Manila Project (Upper Kaliwa and Kanan River), East Bay Water Supply Project, phases 1 and 2; Wawa-Calawis Water Supply Project, phases 1 and 2; and the New Centennial Water Source – Kaliwa Dam Project.

    “All together, these projects will be able to supply a total of 1,368 million liters per day,” he said.

    In a related development, Nograles said a tunnel boring machine that would help hasten the construction of the Kaliwa Dam is expected to arrive in May 2021. The machine will be used to dig and build an integrated reservoir bordering the Rizal and Quezon provinces.

    The Kaliwa Dam, which aims to augment water supply from Angat Dam, which serves as the major source of potable water in NCR and surrounding areas, is expected to be completed in 2025.

    “We expect the arrival of the tunnel boring machine in May of 2021. Once the tunnel boring machine arrives, we can expedite and we can see a quick progress in the project,” Nograles said.

    The Kaliwa Dam project, signed through a loan agreement between the MWSS and the Export-Import Bank of China in 2018, is hoped to raise the water supply in Metro Manila by 600 million liters of per day.