Manila Water unit seeks new sources for expansion
(The Philippine Star) - April 19, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Manila Water subsidiary Laguna Water Corp. will develop new water sources beginning this year as part of its program to expand its coverage in its concession area to 80 percent by 2016.

The company currently covers 30 percent in its concession area, equivalent to 45,000 individual connections for a population of 900,000.

By 2020, the subsidiary aims to achieve a 100-percent coverage in its area which is equivalent to roughly 112,000 connections.

In an interview yesterday, Laguna Water general manager Melvin Tan said the company would spend P3.7 billion over four years to carry out the expansion plan, financing for which would come from a combination of loans and internal funds.

Tan said the company has a pending application with the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) for a higher water rights volume from the Matang Tubig Spring in the province from which it obtains five million liters of water per day.

He said the company is asking the NWRB to allow it to source up to 40 million liters of water per day from the spring water source.

“We hope it will be granted within the year,” said Tan.

Once the company is granted increased water rights volume from the Matang Tubig Spring, Laguna Water would spend P700 million to upgrade its existing water facilities.

Tan said Laguna Water would also develop other deep well sources. 

The company supplies the towns of Cabuyao, Santa Rosa and Binan with 35 million liters of water per day coming mostly from deep wells and other spring sources in the province.

With the increased water volume from the Matang Tubig Spring, Laguna Water would be able to deliver 70 million liters of water per day to its concession area.

Laguna Water is expected to undergo a rate rebasing in the near future, but Tan said the company is still discussing this with government regulators.

Laguna Water was also able to reduce its systems loss rate by almost half in 2012 from the start of its operations in 2009.

It was able to bring down its non-revenue water rate (NRW) to 25 percent from 49 percent three years ago.

Recovered to date are three million liters of water per day which is distributed to 5,000 underserved residents of Barangay Balibago, Sta. Rosa City.

Laguna Water is now using a modern filtration system that addresses recurring water quality problems in its concession area.

The filtration system called DMI-65, adjusts the level of iron and manganese contents in the water to a level that conforms with the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water (PNSDW).

As required by the PNSDW, iron and manganese levels should not exceed 1 milligram per liter (mg/l) and 0.4mg/l, respectively.

Before the institution of this water filtration system,  residents in the concession area  managed their own deep-well facilities.

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