MWSS seeks declaration of Laguna Lake as ‘vital source of water’

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Water management officials have sought to declare Laguna Lake as a “vital source of water” in the wake of water service interruptions in Metro Manila, Malacanang said Thursday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 7) — Water management officials have sought to declare Laguna Lake as a “vital source of water” in the wake of water service interruptions in Metro Manila, Malacanang said Thursday.

Residents in Metro Manila have been experiencing service interruptions since October, with officials saying this might extend until next year.

This is due to the low supply in Metro Manila’s key source, Angat Dam. As a solution, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) earlier said it is eyeing to tap the Laguna Lake, the largest lake in the country, as a primary water source for the capital region. Declaring the lake as a vital source would mean it will have “protection and security,” MWSS said.

As of Thursday 6 a.m., Angat is at 188.37 meters, a couple of meters shy from its ideal operating level of 190 meters and its normal level of 210. MWSS said it does not see any significant improvement in the dam’s supply due to predicted weak rains in the coming months. The dam hit below critical level in June.

MWSS Administrator Emmanuel Salamat said in August that Angat Dam remains the only primary source of water for Metro Manila, while only a percentage comes from other sources such as Laguna Lake.

“We look at Laguna Lake as our available option because that is [the] biggest source of freshwater in the country so if we maximize our water from Laguna Lake it will be a big help to provide augmentation,” he told CNN Philippines.

Salamat also reached out to the Interior and Local Department during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the Palace said, to expedite granting of permits for MWSS projects, request assistance from other agencies in crafting a water security plan, and to create an inter-agency task force on water supply and sewerage.