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Water service rotation scheme set

Weaker than expected rain this month prevented the authorities from raising the water supply allocation in Metro Manila, which will result in an interruption in the water distribution later this week, regulators said Wednesday.

Angat Dam, the region’s main water source, was at 186.23 meters as of 6 a.m., down from about 191 meters in the last week of Septeamber, said National Water Resources Board Executive Director Sevillo David Jr.

READ: Angat Dam level dips; water service cut eyed

He made the statement even as the Makabayan Bloc in the House of Representatives pushed for a congressional inquiry in aid of legislation into the government’s contracts with private firms, including foreign-based ones.

This is in the face of the controversial loan deals with China and the interruption in the water distribution in the areas covered by Manila Water Company Inc., one of the private concessionaires of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.

House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate slammed Manila Water and Maynilad for the impending water interruptions in Metro Manila and some parts of Southern Tagalog.

“This already happened earlier this year and now it is happening all over again,” Zarate said. 

“The water concessionaires are truly remiss on their contract and this should be scrutinized. This also shows that the privatization of public utilities is not the way to go because all they care about is profits.”

Angat Dam’s declining level prompted regulators to slash the water supply allocation in Metro Manila to 40 cubic meters per second from the regular 46.

“The NWRB Decided to maintain the current allocation for the Metro Manila water supply. We want to take care of our supply for this year until the next, especially in the summer,” David said.

Water supply will be cut in parts of Metro Manila for up to 18 hours starting Thursday, the concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water warned earlier.

Last March, the aps ran dry in about a million households in Metro Manila as Angat Dam breached its critical level.

But David said this week’s service outage would not be as bad as last summer, when Metro Manila’s water allocation dipped below 40 cubic meters per second.

“If the distribution will be managed properly, we think that the public will still get water somehow,” David said.

The rotational service interruption will continue until Angat Dam’s level rises and Metro Manila’s water allocation stays at 40 cubic meters per second, said Maynilad media relations assistant manager Grace Laxa.

“We still don’t know until when this will be,” she said. 

Manila Water will meanwhile schedule the outage in the evening to give consumers enough time to store water, said its corporate communications head Jeric Sevilla. 

READ: Angat drying up; Noy’s inaction hit

READ: MWSS option: Pump out water from Angat Dam

READ: Angat nears critical mark

Topics: water supply , water distribution , Angat Dam , Sevillo David Jr. , Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System
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