Water consumption rises as Metro Manila bakes in dry season heat


Posted at May 14 2020 08:42 PM | Updated as of May 14 2020 11:44 PM

Water consumption rises as Metro Manila bakes in dry season heat 1
Angat Dam. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News file photo

MANILA - Residents of Metro Manila have been consuming more water this month as the heat index went above 40 degrees Centigrade in many areas. 

Manila Water said demand increased by 7 percent in April from March, and climbed another 12 percent this month from April. 

Maynilad said demand grew 3 to 5 percent in their concession area during the same period.

Because of the higher consumption, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), which controls water supply for residential, agricultural and other uses, raised its allocation for the two water concessionaires. 

The NWRB said Manila Water and Maynilad can draw a combined 48 cubic meters per second (cms) of water from Angat Dam, up from 46 cms previously. This translates to an additional 160 million liters of water per day, NWRB said. 

The regulator said it expects Angat’s water level to remain stable despite the higher allocation to the water concessionaires.

“Yung 2 cms na karagdagan, based on our projection, ay di naman po siya makakaapekto nang malaki sa level ng Angat dam,” said NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David. 

(The additional 2 cms, based on out projection, will not greatly affect the level in Angat Dam.)

Maynilad said the extra supply means fewer to no water-service interruptions until June. 

“Hindi na po namin inaasahan ng water interruption athough para masiguro namin na kahit paano tuloy-tuloy pa rin yung pag-conserve ng water,” said Maynilad Water Supply Operations Head Ronald Padua.

(We no longer expect any water interruption, although we will still ensure this by continuing to conserve water.)

Manila Water, on the other hand, said the added water allocation will help it with the expected surge in consumption in commercial and industrial areas when the modified enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine goes into effect in its service areas.

“So, we need to prepare for an increase in the demand,” said Manila Water Corporate Strategic Affairs Head Jeric Sevilla. 

Weather bureau PAGASA, meanwhile, said it expects typhoon Ambo, and another storm expected to enter the country this month, to bring rains that will raise the water level in Angat. 

The water level in Angat stood at 187.75 meters today, which is far below its normal high water level of 210 meters but still above its 180-meter minimum operating level. 

- Report from April Rafales, ABS-CBN News