Manila runs dry as water utility wrestles to maintain supply

Manila Runs Dry As Water Utility Scrambles To Maintain SupplyCustomers of Manila Water Company, Inc, a water utility which is part of Philippine business conglomerate Ayala Corp., are faced with more supply shortages after they have been hit by water interruptions since the first week of March.

East zone concessionaire Manila Water announced a revised water interruption scheme with a more definite time that started on March 14 and 15 in the cities of Makati, Mandaluyong, Taguig, San Juan, Quezon City, Pasig, Paranaque, Marikina, Manila City, municipality of Pateros and towns of Rizal.

The previous interruptions lasted as long as 12 hours and initially affected only dozens of villages. It has escalated to entire cities including Manila and Quezon City with longer outages. Some districts have gone without water for several days.

Manila Water customers have been struggling to go on with their daily routines due to water service interruptions. Some have even resorted to using mineral water to take a bath or wash dishes. There’s anger, frustration and uncertainty, with many not knowing when their water supply will go back to normal. The shortage also came with very little warning, not enough for residents to make adequate preparations. It is estimated that at least 52,000 households are affected.

Manila Water apologised for the service interruption, saying it had to do with low levels in the supplying dams around Metro Manila due to “operational adjustments,” particularly in the La Mesa dam whose water levels were on a 21-year low. The company said it had started to augment the supply in its reservoirs so it could bring back water service to the affected areas. Supplying water to hospitals and schools by deploying water tankers and finding ways to divert water towards problematic areas will be prioritised, it added.

However, the utility said that the problems could last for the next three months or until the rainy season sets in.

Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo on March 14 raised the possibility that the water shortage and supply interruptions in parts of Metro Manila may be “artificial” and could be owing to inefficient handling or mismanagement, as well as and lack of adequate long-term planning.

“We are calling an investigation because the public is already thirsty for the truth, now that they don’t have water to drink and clean with,” Senator Grace Poe of the Nationalist People’s Coalition added.

Manila Water is a private listed company that won the bidding for the historic privatisation of public utility Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System in 1997. Critics pointed out that the company has not established additional water resources that could serve Metro Manila and neighbouring areas despite the population grew by millions since.

 

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Customers of Manila Water Company, Inc, a water utility which is part of Philippine business conglomerate Ayala Corp., are faced with more supply shortages after they have been hit by water interruptions since the first week of March. East zone concessionaire Manila Water announced a revised water interruption scheme with a more definite time that started on March 14 and 15 in the cities of Makati, Mandaluyong, Taguig, San Juan, Quezon City, Pasig, Paranaque, Marikina, Manila City, municipality of Pateros and towns of Rizal. The previous interruptions lasted as long as 12 hours and initially affected only dozens of villages....

Manila Runs Dry As Water Utility Scrambles To Maintain SupplyCustomers of Manila Water Company, Inc, a water utility which is part of Philippine business conglomerate Ayala Corp., are faced with more supply shortages after they have been hit by water interruptions since the first week of March.

East zone concessionaire Manila Water announced a revised water interruption scheme with a more definite time that started on March 14 and 15 in the cities of Makati, Mandaluyong, Taguig, San Juan, Quezon City, Pasig, Paranaque, Marikina, Manila City, municipality of Pateros and towns of Rizal.

The previous interruptions lasted as long as 12 hours and initially affected only dozens of villages. It has escalated to entire cities including Manila and Quezon City with longer outages. Some districts have gone without water for several days.

Manila Water customers have been struggling to go on with their daily routines due to water service interruptions. Some have even resorted to using mineral water to take a bath or wash dishes. There’s anger, frustration and uncertainty, with many not knowing when their water supply will go back to normal. The shortage also came with very little warning, not enough for residents to make adequate preparations. It is estimated that at least 52,000 households are affected.

Manila Water apologised for the service interruption, saying it had to do with low levels in the supplying dams around Metro Manila due to “operational adjustments,” particularly in the La Mesa dam whose water levels were on a 21-year low. The company said it had started to augment the supply in its reservoirs so it could bring back water service to the affected areas. Supplying water to hospitals and schools by deploying water tankers and finding ways to divert water towards problematic areas will be prioritised, it added.

However, the utility said that the problems could last for the next three months or until the rainy season sets in.

Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo on March 14 raised the possibility that the water shortage and supply interruptions in parts of Metro Manila may be “artificial” and could be owing to inefficient handling or mismanagement, as well as and lack of adequate long-term planning.

“We are calling an investigation because the public is already thirsty for the truth, now that they don’t have water to drink and clean with,” Senator Grace Poe of the Nationalist People’s Coalition added.

Manila Water is a private listed company that won the bidding for the historic privatisation of public utility Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System in 1997. Critics pointed out that the company has not established additional water resources that could serve Metro Manila and neighbouring areas despite the population grew by millions since.

 

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