Having clean water is a necessity in every household. Everybody needs clean water for drinking, cooking, for brushing our teeth, taking a bath and for washing our clothes. That is why everyone in the family should conserve water.
Some people live in countries (including Philippines) where clean running water is a norm, and we, Filipinos rarely think about how privileged we are, but for millions of individuals all over the world this is not so.
Every day individuals in rural communities and poor urban centers throughout the world get ill and die from lack of access to clean drinking water and unhygienic or no sanitation.
Members of Mommy Bloggers Philippines were invited to see how clean water goes to our homes. We visited 2 dams, Ipo Dam and Angat Dam, and Maynilad’s La Mesa Water Treatment Plant 2 where they treat water to make it potable.
Majority of the raw water supply for Metro Manila comes from Angat Dam. This water continuously flows down to Ipo Dam, which was built to divert water, until it reaches the Novaliches portal. Here, the raw water will be split between the two Metro Manila water concessionaires, including Maynilad.
The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) is the government agency in charge of determining the water allocation for irrigation (through the National Irrigation Administration or NIA) and for domestic use (through the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System or MWSS).
Now, this is when I realized why there is an ongoing daily rotational water service interruption. The NWRB reduced raw water allocations for the MWSS water concessionaires, including Maynilad, to preserve the water in Angat Dam and ensure that there will still be water during dry months (popularly known as summer months when there is less to no rain, but water demand is high due to heat).
Because the water allocation from Angat Dam is reduced from 48 cubic meters per second (cms) to only 42 cms, Maynilad had no choice but to implement daily rotational water service interruptions. This way, all customers will still have water, even for just a few hours daily.
Maynilad is the water and wastewater services provider for the West Zone of the Greater Manila, which is composed of the cities of Manila (all but portions of San Andres and Sta. Ana), Quezon City (west of San Juan River, West Avenue, EDSA, Congressional, Mindanao Avenue, the northern part starting from the district parts of Holy Spirit and Batasan Hills), Makati (west of South Super Highway), Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas and Malabon, all in Metro Manila; the cities of Cavite, Bacoor, and Imus, and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario, all in Cavite Province. It is the largest water concessionaire in terms of customer base in the Philippines, serving more than 1,440,000 connections or 9.7 million people (3Q-2019).
As part of its efforts to mitigate the possible water supply shortage come dry months due to the reduced raw water allocation, Maynilad implemented mitigating measures as early as last year, which includes the following:
- Optimizing its Putatan Water Treatment Plant 1 (PWTP 1) – Maynilad’s first facility to draw water from Laguna Lake since 2010.
- Commissioning of PWTP 2 – Maynilad invested in a second treatment plant that draws more water from Laguna Lake. This became fully operational in 2019.
- Reactivating deep wells – Maynilad has been reactivating existing deep wells within its concession area, using additional treatment technology to make the yield potable.
- Sustaining reduction of water losses – Maynilad inherited one of the oldest pipe networks in Asia, with some segments dating back to the Spanish times. So it has been investing heavily in pipe replacements and leak repairs to recover more water for distribution.
- Purchasing modular treatment plants that will tap rivers in Cavite – Maynilad is exploring the deployment of modular water treatment plants that will extract raw water from Cavite rivers within the West Zone.
- Deploying mobile water tankers and stationary water tanks (SWT) – Maynilad acquired a total of 69 mobile water tankers and 32 SWTs, which are being deployed to different areas within its West Zone concession.
- Conducting cloud-seeding operations – Maynilad is currently working with MWSS, Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), and Philippine Air Force (PAF) on the guidelines and schedule of the cloud-seeding operations.
Maynilad knows the value of having water 24/7 that is why it is continuously working with the government to bring back the normal water allocation for its customers.
Access to clean water means less illness; it means better sanitation, more water for agriculture, which means better nutrition, which in turn leads to better education and a way out of poverty.
Having clean water is important, which makes every Filipino family is well taken care of.
Karina is not your ordinary supermom. She juggles her time bonding with her three amazing kids while being in the loop on the latest happenings in the tech and lifestyle scene. Follow me on Instagram (@digitalfilipina) regularly visit www.digitalfilipina.com for daily dose of updates not just for moms but for everyone!