Manila Water admits project delays worsened supply problem

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2019 04:34 PM | Updated as of Mar 12 2019 04:58 PM

Manila Water COO Geodino Carpio answers questions during a press briefing at the Manila Water Headquarters in Quezon City, March 12, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Manila Water on Tuesday said delays in projects designed to boost its supply, coupled with the lack of rains, led to the water shortage that has prompted service interruptions in eastern Metro Manila. 

Manila Water COO Geodino Carpio said the El Niño phenomenon only worsened their problem of increasing demand and inadequate supply.

“It is correct to say El Nino aggravated it. Because there is so little rain nowadays,” he said, explaining that rainfall could have filled up the La Mesa Dam, which serves as their emergency water source.

He said solutions the water distributor was looking at have been delayed - plans drawn out after customer demand exceeded its water supply in 2016. 

“Yes it (increased demand) has been projected. Unfortunately, the projected solutions were delayed,” Carpio said.

Among these projects are the delayed Kaliwa Dam and the Cardona treatment plant, which is supposed to draw water from the Laguna Lake. 

Because of these delays, Manila Water has been forced to use emergency supply from the La Mesa Dam, which has now reached critical level.

Around 52,000 households have not been receiving water from the concessionaire over the last 6 days. 

Manila Water, which serves the east zone of Metro Manila, has been receiving 1.6 billion liters of water from the Angat Dam every day. 

However, it is not enough to cover the more than 1.7 billion liters of water needed by their customers.

It is impossible to increase supply from the Angat Dam because of the volume limitation of the tunnels and aqueducts connecting it to Manila Water’s treatment plants, Carpio said.