Maynilad seeks nod to tap Laguna lake

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 26 2009 05:15 PM | Updated as of Feb 27 2009 01:15 AM

To address water shortage in certain parts of its concession area, Maynilad Water Services Inc. is seeking the approval of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to abstract 300 million liters of water per day from Laguna de Bay.

Maynilad, the authorized water distributor in the western part of Metro Manila, wants to tap the country's largest lake as a source of water for residents in Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Las Piñas and Bacoor.

Maynilad said only 71 percent of its customer base in the west zone are being supplied with adequate water while the remaining 30 percent, which includes the southern cities, is unserved or without a decent water supply.

In its proposal, Maynilad said it would take over the operation of an existing water treatment plant in Putatan, Muntinlupa which abstracts 180,000 cubic meters of lakewater and supplies it to a subdivision in Alabang for domestic use.

The water distributor said the 300 million liters of water per day from the Laguna lake would be implemented gradually. The first 100 MLD will be made available to the west zone in 2010, and this will be increased to 200 MLD by 2011. The full 300 MLD abstractions will be done by 2014.

There are 24 major tributaries around the lake. Among them is the Pagsanjan River System, whose discharge accounts for 35 percent of the total lakewater inflow. This inflow is discharged to the Manila Bay through the Pasig River.

Laguna de Bay spills 150 cubic-meter-per-second lake water to Manila Bay through the Pasig River everyday except during the months of March to May, when lake water level is lower than that of Manila Bay (13M m3 per day).

Strategically located within the heart of Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Laguna de Bay is the most viable source of domestic water for the west zone, according to a study conducted by the LLDA five years ago.

The same study revealed that eventually, the Angat Dam will no longer be able to meet the demands of the growing Metro Manila population.

LLDA General Manager Edgardo Manda thus appealed to the Laguna de Bay community to help protect the lake by managing their waste disposal.

"Five years ago, we've been warning the public that Manila will be waterless unless... Getting potable water from the lake is very near to becoming a reality. The more we pollute the lake, the more we will spend to clean it for us to have drinkable water," Manda said.