Napocor hikes allocation for Manila Water, Maynilad

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2014 02:57 PM | Updated as of May 22 2014 10:57 PM

MANILA, Philippines - National Power Corporation president Gladys Cruz-Sta Rita confirmed that Angat dam has increased the allocation of water concessionaires to 43 cubic meters per second (cms) from 42 cms on Wednesday despite the continuous drop in the dam's water level.

According to Sta Rita, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has decided to increase the allocation to 43 cms for 15 days from today (May 22) to June 4. After that it will be reduced to 41 cms for the next 15 days to get an average of 42 cms for a one-month period.

Sta. Rita said the government is still confident of PAGASA's forecast that the rains will come in June.

Intermittent rains in the past few days has resulted in slower reduction of outflow in Angat dam from 32 to 35 centimeters/day to 22 to 25 centimeters/day.

When asked why the water level did not go up despite the rains, Sta Rita says the super dry land is still absorbing the rainwater and it will take some time and more rains before it trickles down into the dam.

According to Sta Rita, the increased water allocation for 15 days will enable the government to fill the Ipo dam and La Mesa dam before reducing it to 41 cubic meters per second after 15 days.

While Manila Water welcomes the increased allocation, it will ask the NWRB to maintain the water release at 43 cms or 42 cms.

Manila Water spokesman Jeric Sevilla said when the allocation is pegged at 41 cms, water at the La Mesa dam will be exhausted in 3 weeks to 1 month's time. If that happens, the quality of water for Manila Water will be affected as sediments is likely to affect the water treatment process.

If the 41 cms continues for long, Manila Water says contigency measures will likely kick in. These include activation of deep wells, network adjustments such as pressure and supply management and reduced pressure for those whose water supply is 24 hours.

Maynilad, on the other hand, said the current water release of 42 cms is enough to deliver 24-hour water supply at normal pressure.

"However, we welcome the additional 1cms because it will help prevent a repeat of what happened last week when raw water released from Angat dam was abruptly reduced by NPC, causing service interruptions in certain portions of our service area. The additional raw water can be stored at Ipo dam, and used to offset unscheduled and unannounced reductions in raw water supply from Angat Dam," Maynilad said.