No more prolonged water interruption in Metro
(The Philippine Star) - October 2, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Customers of Maynilad Water Services Inc. in Metro Manila will be spared from prolonged water supply interruption next week as Typhoon Kabayan dumped rains over the Angat and Ipo dams.

Maynilad said yesterday it would be able to maintain the current supply situation in the west zone until Sunday next week despite the reduced water allocation from Angat Dam for Metro Manila this month.

The company has been implementing a seven-hour water service interruption from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Maynilad will be able to maintain the supply situation until Oct. 11 because of the rains that fell over the Ipo Watershed.

Water from Ipo Dam augments supply from Angat Dam, which is the main source of water for Metro Manila.

“Should rains stop in the next few days owing to the strong El Niño, the Ipo Dam will no longer be able to sustain the deficiency of supply from Angat Dam,” Maynilad said.

The water concessionaire said it would give two days advance notice before implementing extended water service interruptions.

Maynilad provides water and wastewater services to residents in most of Manila, parts of Quezon and Makati cities, Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Valenzuela, Navotas and Malabon in Metro Manila. Its franchise area covers Bacoor, Imus, Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario in Cavite.  

Ban on deep water drilling stays

The ban on deep water drilling and construction of new deep wells stays to protect Metro Manila’s ground water supply, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said.

NWRB executive director Sevillo David Jr., however, said the board was crafting policies for exemptions as the prevailing dry spell is threatening water supply in the metropolis.

The new guidelines on the reactivation of existing deep wells and construction of new ones in select areas are expected to be out when the board convenes next month.

“Groundwater extraction is strictly prohibited. We are preparing measures in case a need arises to augment the water supply in Metro Manila. Should we need to authorize the use of deep wells, these would be allowed in vital institutions such as hospitals, airports and hotels,” David said.

In 2009, the NWRB imposed a total ban on deep water drilling in Metro Manila; Guiguinto, Bocaue, Marilao and Meycauayan, all in Bulacan, and Dasmariñas in Cavite to prevent over-extraction of ground water.

The NWRB said ground water levels in these areas are considered critical.

The extraction of groundwater in other areas in the country is strictly regulated by the NWRB.

Over-extraction of ground water causes land subsidence that can damage buildings and infrastructure due to sudden changes in ground elevation.

The NWRB has shut down around 1,000 deep wells that were either abandoned or operated illegally.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, who chairs the NWRB, earlier urged the public to report illegal extractions of groundwater in areas covered by the ban.

He said this is a preemptive measure as the board anticipates a rise in the illegal construction of deep wells as the prevailing dry spell is expected to linger until the second quarter of 2016.

Paje has instructed all field offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to receive complaints about illegal deep wells and coordinate with local government units as well as district offices of the Local Water Utilities Administration.

NWRB hotlines – (02) 928-2365 and (02) 920-2641 – have been activated to receive reports of unautho-rized extraction of water from deep wells. – With Rhodina Villanueva



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