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No water shortage in Metro Manila this year: Govt

Residents of Addition Hills in Madaluyong City, Metro Manila, queue to recieve water distributed on water tank truck and fire trucks on March 15, 2019. Photo: AFP. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MANILA, Mar 4, 2021, The Manila Times. There will be sufficient water supply in Metro Manila not only for the summer season but throughout the entire year, Malacañang assured the public on Thursday, The Manila Times reported.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles said the supply would be enough as the government hastens the implementation of various infrastructure projects to address water requirements in the region.

Nograles said the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) made the assurance during the meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte and the Cabinet on the country’s infrastructure projects related to water security in Malacañang on Wednesday.

“Let me start by sharing some good news. According to Metropolitan Wa-terworks and Sewerage System Chairman and OIC Administrator Reynaldo Velasco, we expect to have a sufficient supply of water this year in Metro Manila; wala ho tayong water shortage dito sa Maynila (We will not have a water shortage in Manila),” Nograles said during a virtual press briefing.

Nograles also assured residents of the National Capital Region (NCR) that the MWSS continued to take measures “to ensure that we have an adequate supply of water this summer.”

“It (MWSS) is also working to fast-track several projects that will address the water requirements of NCR in the long run,” the Palace official said.

The projects, he said, include the New Centennial Water Source – Kaliwa Dam Project; Long Term Water Source Development for Metro Manila Project (Upper Kaliwa and Kanan River); East Bay water Supply Project – Phase 1; East Bay Water Supply Project – Phase 2; Wawa-Calawis Water Supply Project – Phase 1; and, Wawa-Calawis Water Supply Project – Phase 2.

“All together, these projects will be able to supply a total of 1,368 million liters per day, or MLD,” Nograles said.

In March 2019, water interruptions hit Metro Manila and nearby areas, prompting the President to intervene and direct water authorities to ensure sufficient supply of water.

Duterte had blamed officials of the MWSS and the two water concessionaires for the shortage, claiming they knew about the problem, but did nothing to prevent it.

He also questioned the concession agreement with a water company, which he did not identify, that bound the government to the deal until 2070.

Both Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co. Inc. are in the middle of negotiations for a new concession agreement.

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