Amid national water crisis, MWSS says Metro Manila has 'sufficient' water supply

Raffy Cabristante, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 13 2023 07:16 PM | Updated as of Apr 13 2023 10:33 PM

Residents line up during a water distribution drive in Mandaluyong. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file
Residents line up during a water distribution drive in Mandaluyong. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA — The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on Thursday assured that Metro Manila has a sufficient supply of water, amid a national "water crisis" earlier declared by Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. 

MWSS Engineering and Technical Operations Group Deputy Administrator Jojo Dorado Jr. told ABS-CBN TeleRadyo that Angat Dam, Metro Manila's main water source, still has a "sufficient elevation."

Based on a PAGASA daily monitoring report, Angat Dam had a water level of 198.52 meters on Thursday, slightly lower than the dam's normal water level of 212 meters.

But Dorado said that this was still far from the dam's critical level of 180 meters.

He also noted that based on MWSS' reservoir projections, Angat Dam could still supply sufficient water throughout Metro Manila "up to end of the year."

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Dorado also clarified that Marcos' earlier declaration of a water crisis only applies to the rest of the country.

The declaration, he noted, was based on a pronouncement made by National Water Resources Board (NWRB) executive director Sevillo David Jr., who said that 11 million families in the Philippines lacked access to clean water.

Dorado also assured that MWSS has short-, medium-, and long-term plans in place to ensure that Metro Manila does not experience a water shortage like it did in 2019.

Among these projects is the Kaliwa Dam, which is still under construction and expected to be operational by 2027.

Maynilad also has a portable water treatment plant in Cavite, which supplies 5.5 million liters of water daily, Dorado said.

At a global water conference in Pasay City last March, Marcos Jr. said that the Philippines was experiencing a water crisis, lamenting that it was a problem that has been "continually postponed."

In the same event, Marcos also said he had signed an executive order creating an office of water management to make a "more cohesive policy" to address the Philippines' water crisis.

The executive order would stand until bills seeking to create a Department of Water Management are signed into law.