Decision on request to increase water allocation expected soon, regulator says

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 31) — Amid a looming water crisis, the decision of the authorities on the requested two cubic meters per second (cms) increase in the water allocation for service providers is expected soon, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said on Friday.

Speaking to CNN Philippines’ The Source, MWSS Deputy Administrator Jose Dorado said the agency has forwarded its letter to the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) requesting that the allocation for concessionaires be increased from 50 cms to 52 cms.

This is opposite to what the NWRB is planning to implement, which is to reduce the supply to 48 cms to prepare for the possibility of El Niño.

“Hopefully we can receive the reply from the NWRB by this day or tomorrow,” Dorado said.

MWSS made the request as Maynilad warned its 10 million customers of longer service interruptions due to the declining water level at La Mesa Dam. 

Dorado explained that the shortage in Maynilad’s water supply was due to pipe leaks and illegal connections.

Pending the release of the decision, Dorado assured affected residents that efforts are being made to address the issues.

A new aqueduct is also being built to replace the ones built in the 1930s, he added.

Dorado also said there is enough supply until the end of the year.

In case the additional allocation will not be approved, he said Maynilad will be instructed to mobilize all of its resources.

On the other hand, Manila Water spokesperson Jeric Sevilla assured customers that the east zone concessionaire has enough supply even if the NWRB decides to push through with its planned two cms reduction.

He also told CNN Philippines that this was one of the reasons why Manila Water is suspending its portal sharing with Maynilad.

“We’d like to protect our customers and ensure that we are going to be able to sustain the water service for this summer,” he noted.